It’s June 2, 2000. Eknath Shinde had gone to Satara with his 11-year-old son Dipesh and 7-year-old daughter Shubhada. An accident happened while boating and both Shinde’s children drowned in front of his eyes. At that time, Shinde’s third child, Shrikant, was just 14 years old.
Recalling this painful incident in an interview, Shinde had said, ‘It was the darkest day of my life. I was completely broken. I decided to drop everything. Politics too.
It has been 22 years since this incident. At present, Eknath Shinde has shaken the throne of Shiv Sena and Uddhav Thackeray. Let us know how Shinde’s stature, who had once decided to leave politics, became so big in Shiv Sena? How did he manage to win over two-thirds of the party’s MLAs?
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Balasaheb was also terrified of Shinde’s political guru.
Shinde was born on 9 February 1964. He is a resident of Pahari Jawali taluka of Satara district of Maharashtra, but his karmabhoomi remained Thane. Shiv Sena’s tallest leader, Anand Dige, was his political mentor. When Shinde decided to leave politics after the death of his son, it was Dige that brought him back.
Shinde gets political legacy after Anand Dige’s sudden death
Dige died suddenly on 26 August 2001 in an accident. His death is still considered by many to be murder. Recently, a film has also come out in Marathi on the death of Dige named Dharamveer. Dige was also known as Dharamveer.
After Dige’s death, the Shiv Sena needed a face to maintain its supremacy in Thane. The Thackeray family could not leave Thane with a relaxed attitude. The reason is that Thane is a big district of Maharashtra. Since Shinde was associated with Dige from the very beginning, Shinde got his political legacy. Shinde also planted and watered the seeds of heritage properly.
Shinde reached the assembly by winning four consecutive times
Shinde was also a leader of the people like his guru. Became MLA for the first time in the year 2004. After that never looked back. Soon, he created such dominance in Thane that he became the center of politics there. In 2009, 20014 and 2019 assembly elections too, the eyes of victory tied on his forehead. In 2014, he also became the Leader of the Opposition.
While in the post of minister, Shinde always held important portfolios. In 2014, he was the PWD minister in the Fadnavis government. After this, in 2019, Shinde got the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Health and Family Welfare and Urban Development. In Maharashtra, CM usually keeps this department with him.
Shinde’s son and Fadnavis behind the rebellion
To increase his dominance, Shinde also fielded his son. Shrikant Shinde, a doctor by profession, is an MP from Kalyan Lok Sabha seat. It is also being said that the pressure of his son Shrikant is behind Shinde’s rebellion.
Srikkanth says that his politics with BJP has a golden future. The BJP too, especially former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, has always strengthened Eknath Shinde inside. Fadnavis knew that Shinde was the strongest link to revolt against Udvav Thackeray.
The BJP has said on several occasions that Shinde is being sidelined. It was the BJP which made Shinde realize time and again that he had no importance in Shiv Sena. When there was an atmosphere around that Shinde is angry with Thackeray and can leave anytime, Thackeray also distanced himself from Shinde.
Eknath Shinde was making his inroads in Shiv Sena
Shinde, who started his political journey from Thane district of Maharashtra, was called Uddhav Thackeray’s messenger. Whenever there was any political crisis in any district, it was Shinde who used to go to solve it. A hallmark of this was also seen during Kovid.
In the last two years, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray neither held any major meeting nor met much of the MLAs. Instead of Thackeray, Shinde continued to meet the MLAs and solve their problems. It was here that he won the confidence of the Shiv Sena MLAs and prepared them for rebellion.
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