Mumbai: Eknath Shinde was a Shiv Sainik at heart and held an important portfolio in the cabinet of the Maharashtra government before he turned a rebel on Tuesday, shaking the coalition government in the state.
A member of the Assembly from Kopri-Pachpakhadi constituency, he was elected MLA in 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019.
Born on February 9, 1964 in Satara, he came to Thane at an early age and completed his education from Mangala High School and Junior College.
In 1980, he was influenced by Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray and joined the party, working as a Sainik. He participated in many agitations of the party.
His dedication to the Sena's cause was noticed. In 1997, he contested the election of the Thane Municipal Corporation and in 2001 got elected as a Leader of the House.
He held the post till 2004.
In 2004, Shinde contested the Assembly election from Thane and he won with a handsome majority.
The next year, he was appointed the Shiv Sena Thane District chief.
After the 2014 elections, he was elected the leader of legislative party of Shiv Sena and subsequently the Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly.
Within a month, as the Shiv Sena decided to join the state government, he took oath as the Minister for Public Works Department (Public Undertakings). He took the additional responsibility of the Health and Family Welfare Ministry in January 2019.
Eknath Shinde is married to Lata Shinde.
His son, Dr Shrikant Shinde, is an orthopaedic surgeon who got elected to the Lok Sabha from Kalyan, defeating the NCP's Anand Paranjape, who had defected from the Shiv Sena, and Raju Patil of the MNS. (UNI)