Eknath Shinde is a top leader of the Shiv Sena and is the current Minister of urban affairs in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. Mr Shinde, who is currently “reachable” after reportedly moving to a hotel in Gujarat’s Surat with 10 party MLAs, is Sena’s big leader in Thane which is adjacent to Mumbai. He is responsible for strengthening the party in many other places as well.
Mr Shinde may address the media this afternoon, signalling a major crisis for the Maharashtra ruling coalition.
The Sena MLA had recently accompanied Maharashtra Minister Aditya Thackeray on his trip to Ayodhya.
He has been elected consecutively for four terms in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly — 2004, 2009, 2014, and 2019. After his 2014 win, he was elected as the leader of the legislative party of Shiv Sena and subsequently the Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly.
The Sena leader enjoys popular support and is responsible for organising the party’s big events.
His son Shrikant Shinde is a Lok Sabha MP and his brother Prakash Shinde is a Councillor.
Mr Shinde has reportedly been upset with the party for some time now after being deliberately sidelined. He enjoys a good relationship with all parties.
The Sena strongman also has strong support from several Sena MLAs and has considerable clout in the Sena stronghold Thane.