Who is Eknath shinde? Shiv Sena strongman at centre of Maharashtra political crisis

Updated on Jun 21, 2022 02:03 PM IST
  • Shiv Sena’s two candidates got 52 votes though the party was expecting 64, which included 55 of its own and those of independents and smaller parties. At least 12 of the 64 lawmakers were believed to have cross-voted.
File photo of Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde. (HT Photo)
File photo of Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde. (HT Photo)
Written by Shivani Kumar | Edited by Swati Bhasin

Shiv Sena's top leader Eknath Shinde along with other MLAs went incommunicado on Tuesday, fuelling speculations that a political crisis might be brewing for the alliance government in Maharashtra. This came a day after the ruling Maha Vikas Agahdi (MVA-comprising the Sena, NCP and Congress) suffered a setback in the Maharashtra Legislative Council polls by losing one out of the six seats it contested.

Shiv Sena’s two candidates got 52 votes though the party was expecting 64, which included 55 of its own and those of independents and smaller parties. At least 12 of the 64 lawmakers were believed to have cross-voted.

Shinde is a senior leader of the Shiv Sena party which formed its government after the assembly elections in 2019. Shinde is said to have a strong grip over Thane -- a Sena stronghold. He is currently the Member of Legislative Assembly from Kopri-Pachpakhadi constituency of Thane.

He has been elected consecutively for four terms in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019. Shinde was elected as leader of the legislative party following his 2014 victory and later he was chosen as the leader of opposition in the Maharashtra assembly. Shinde's son Shrikant is a member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha.

In 2020, he was appointed as the guardian minister of Thane. Before this, he was serving as minister of urban development and public work.

Amid the ongoing crisis, Shinde is expected to address a presser in the afternoon. Meanwhile, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has called an urgent meeting of Shiv Sena leaders and legislators to discuss the crisis.

Sena leader Sanjay Raut earlier on Tuesday said the party has got in touch with Eknath Shinde. He also alleged a "ploy by the rival Bharatiya Janata Party to topple their government.

(With inputs from ANI)

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