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From working in a beer brewery to engineering the Maharashtra turmoil, why has Shinde gone incommunicado

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New Delhi, Jun 21: He started off by working in a beer brewery and driving an autorickshaw. Today he is one of the most powerful leader in the Shiv Sena after the Thackerays. Eknath Shinde now looks set to split the party after he went incommunicado with 26 MLAs.

The Shinde family which originally hails from Satara moved to Thane in the 1970s when Eknath Shinde was a child. After doing smaller jobs to make two ends meet, he joined the Shiv Sena in the 1980s.

Eknath Shinde

In 1997 he won a seat in the Thane Municipal Corporation thanks to his mentor Ananda Dighe who has not only helped him politically but personally as well. When Shinde lost his two children due to drowning, it was Dighe who stood by him rock solid and convinced him to return to politics.

After Dighe passed away in 2001, Shinde looked after the Thane unit. In 2004, he became MLA after winning the Kopri-Pachpakhadi seat. He has represented that constituency for four consecutive terms.

Following the death of Bal Thackeray and the rise of Uddhav Thackeray, many like Shinde grew stronger in the party as the old guard was sidelined. When the Shiv Sena and BJP had a falling out , it was Shinde who helped patch things up between the two parties. He later became the Public Works Department minister in the Devendra Fadnavis led BJP-Shiv Sena government.

In 2019 when the Sena dumped the BJP and formed the government with the NCP and Congress, Shinde is learnt to have expressed his displeasure. There were constant murmurs since then about his unhappiness.

An Indian Express report said that Shinde was also unhappy with Uddhav taking over as Chief Minister and also promoting his son in both the government and party, unlike Bal Thackeray who never took any position in the government.

Another reason for his displeasure could be with the fact that the party rejected his suggestion that the party contests the Thane Municipal Corporation elections alone. He was told that the party would contest the elections with the NCP and Congress.

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