Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde is the PWD Minister and the Guardian Minister of Maharashtra's Thane District under the current Maharashtra government. A prominent figure in Shiv Sena’s power tussle with the BJP after this year’s Assembly polls, Shinde has been a part of the Senas since the 1980s, when he joined as a Shakha Pramukh of Kisan Nagar.
MLA from Thane’s Kopri-Pachpakhadi seat, Shinde was elected for four consecutive terms to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly – in 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019.
Son of Dr Shrikanth Shinde, an MP from Kalyan constituency, Eknath started his career as a small worker after studying till the 11th standard. Born on 9 February 1964, Shinde dropped out of school to financially support his family.
It was in 1997 that Shinde was first elected as a corporator of the Thane Municipal Corporation. He was later elected to the post of the leader of the House in the Municipal Corporation.
In 2004, Shinde was elected to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly after his two consecutive terms at the Thane Municipal Corporation.
In 2014, he became the leader of Opposition of the Maharashtra Assembly, a position he held for only a month, before he was appointed as the PWD Minister in the Devendra Fadnavis-led government. Shiv Sena later extended support to the previous government.
In 2019, Shinde took charge of the post of Cabinet Minister of Public Health and Family Welfare in Maharashtra State Assembly.
Shinde is known for his work towards Mumbai's infrastructure, which includes the Bandra-Versova Sea Link, measures to reduce accidents on Mumbai-Pune route and more such projects.
On 31 October, the Shiv Sena, amid the ongoing power tussle in Maharashtra, unanimously elected Shinde as the leader of the party in the Maharashtra Assembly.