Following high tension and twists in the Maharashtra politics, the Shiv Sena rebel Eknath Shinde was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra, accompanied by Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJPs) Devendra Fadnavis as his deputy. The decision to make a rebel MLA the CM of state, came after Uddhav Thackeray resigned from his Chief Minister's post ahead of the floor test. The bigger shock came when the name Devendra Fadnavis was announced for the deputy CM post as he had already served the state of Maharashtra as the CM from 2014 to 2019, where Eknath Shinde was one among his cabinet ministers.
Shinde's Guwhati Saga
After Shinde's more than a week in a Guwahati hotel, the Maharashtra politics thriller unfolded when he arrived in Goa and then came to Mumbai on June 30. He was called on Devendra Fadnavis at his residence for a meeting to form a new government. Shiv Sena's over 50 MLAs and BJPs 106 MLAs with independent candidates agreed to an immediate alliance. Both the leaders then called on the Governor of Maharashtra, Bhagat Singh Koshyari, and affirmed the claim to make a government in the state.
Soon after meeting the governor, Devendra Fadnavis addressed a press conference where he announced the name of Eknath Shinde for the next CM of the state and mentioned that he would remain outside of the government. Still, he will ensure all the development-related works are in progress. He said, "I will be out of government but will ensure smooth functioning of the government which is coming as an alternative after Uddhav Thackeray resigned," reported Times Now.
After the confirmation of the Chief Minister's post, Shinde said, "The decision which we took today is for the Hindutva and ideology of Balasaheb along with the agenda of development in the constituencies of our MLAs". Soon after the press conference, the National President of BJP, J.P. Nadda, Tweeted and said that Devendra Fadnavis should become the part of the new government as the Deputy of Shinde. Sources claim that the central leadership of the BJP informed Fadnavis to become a deputy in the morning itself. Following the orders, with a relented face, Fadnavis took the oath at Rajya Bhavan as the Deputy CM of Maharashtra along with CM Eknath Shinde. The new Chief Minister of Maharashtra holds a rich experience in managing administration as he has served as the cabinet minister for two terms.
Who Is Eknath Shinde?
Eknath Shinde comes from the Jawali taluka in Satara, Maharashtra, and belongs to the Maratha community. He completed his early education at Mangala High School & Junior College in Thane, Mumbai. To make ends meet for his family, Shinde used to drive an autorickshaw. Shinde is married to Lata Shinde and had three children, out of which two died by drowning in a lake near his native village. Shinde's only surviving son child is Dr Shrikant Shinde, who is a surgeon by profession and a Member of Parliament for two terms (2014, 2019).
Shinde was taken to politics by the district president of Thane, Shive Sena, Anand Dighe, in the early 1980s. Dighe convinced Shinde and introduced him as a candidate for Thane Municipal Corporation in 1997. A tragic incident of Shinde's child's death then made him decide to quit politics. His political guide, Dighe, somehow convinced him to join politics actively again. He entered again and became the successor of Dighe's legacy after he died in 2001.
He became the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from the Kopri-Pachpakhadi constituency in 2004 and has served as an MLA since then. Under the Devendra Fadnavis government in 2014, Shinde was made the cabinet minister of health & family welfare and public works. Then in 2019, Shinde was made the minister of urban development and public works. He was also made the opposition leader for a month in 2014 when the BJP-led NDA government ruled the state of Maharashtra.
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