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Eknath Shinde was born on February 9, 1964, in a poor family in the Satara district of Maharashtra. He was an autorickshaw driver in Thane before starting his political journey in the 1980s. 

Shinde, who took oath as Chief Minister on Thursday after leading the revolt in Shiv Sena that brought down the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA coalition government, has risen from the grassroots.

His induction into politics took place when he became a labour leader at Wagle Industrial Estate in the 1980s and was at the forefront of Shiv Sena agitations. 

After gaining recognition from party leader Anand Chintamani Dighe, Shinde was appointed as a shakha pramukh in Thane.

After a brief stint as Leader of the House in the Thane Municipal Corporation, Shinde entered the state Assembly in 2004 and was later appointed as Shiv Sena's Thane district chief. Since then he has been a legislator for four consecutive terms- 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019.

He has not looked back having won the assembly polls four times and is MLA from Kopri-Pachpakhadi in the state assembly.

He served as a minister in the Devendra Fadnavis-led government between 2014-19. He was also appointed as Leader of the Shiv Sena legislature party in 2019. He took oath as Cabinet Minister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

The former urban development minister in the MVA (Maha Vikas Aghadi) government spent 40 days in prison after being arrested in the Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute protest over Belagavi.

According to several reports, during the 1989 Mumbai riots, Shinde had saved the lives of a mother and her son and drove them to a hospital at night, former neighbours at the chawl he was staying at said.

Shinde has repeatedly avowed his commitment to Hindutva and his faction had been given the name of 'Shiv Sena Balasaheb' during the Maharashtra political crisis.

Following the revolt, Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray had removed Shinde as its Legislative party leader and replaced him with Sewri MLA Ajay Chaudhary.

The Eknath Shinde camp, which had stayed mostly in Guwahati during the revolt, said that Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are Shiv Sena's traditional rivals. They had earlier urged Uddhav Thackeray to stitch a "natural alliance" with the BJP.

BJP and Shiv Sena had fought the 2019 assembly polls together but differences cropped up over the post of Chief Minister.

Uddhav Thackeray resigned on Wednesday after the Shinde-led group kept adding to its numbers and Supreme Court gave a go-ahead for a floor test in the assembly.

A day later, Shinde and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari to stake a claim to form the government in the state. After the meeting, Fadnavis announced that Shinde will take oath as the chief minister.

The BJP at present has 106 MLAs in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly and Shinde claims to have the support of 50 legislators including 40 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs.

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