The Maha Vikas Agadhi government on Tuesday faced its worst political crisis as at least one Shiv Sena Minister along with other ministers and several MLAs veered towards a revolt and are now parked in Gujarat.
After the Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) suffered a setback in the Maharashtra Legislative Council polls on Monday night, Shinde went incommunicado. He is camping at a hotel in Gujarat's Surat city along with some party MLAs.
Who is Eknath Shinde?
Shinde rose in the Shiv Sena hierarchy from ranks. He had served as the party corporator for several terms before getting elected to the Legislative Assembly in 2004.
He is also known for his accessibility and has a strong grip on the party organisation in Thane and Palghar districts, part of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, which sends 24 MLAs to the Assembly.
Although it is not clear what Shinde will do, it has definitely created a crisis situation for MVA and Shiv Sena. If Shinde quits Sena, he will join the list of the big 13 leaders who have left the party and joined some other parties. The list includes big names like Chhagan Bhujbal, Suresh Prabhu, Narayan Rane and Raj Thackeray.
Check the list here:
He is the nephew of Bal Thackeray; and a cousin of Shiv Sena chief current Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray.
Raj believed himself to be the heir of his uncle, Balasaheb. However, Balasaheb showed a strong preference for his own son, Uddhav. Years after being sidelined by Bal Thackeray's other leaders working for him, the disillusioned Thackeray resigned from Shiv Sena in 2005 and announced his intention to start a new political party. On 9 March 2006 in Mumbai, Thackeray founded the "Maharashtra Navnirman Sena" party which is now running as an opposition party in Maharashtra.
Having spent the better part of his political career in the Shiv Sena, Narayan Rane came a long way, leaving two parties and forming his own outfit for a while, before joining hands with the BJP and becoming a Union minister.
Rane (69) began his political career as a 'shakha pramukh' (local ward chief) in the Sena and rose up the ranks to become chief minister at the fag end of the Shiv Sena-BJP government's term in 1999.
Not known to mince words, the Maratha leader having pockets of influence in the coastal Konkan region, was picked by Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray as chief minister when he decided to remove the genial Manohar Joshi ahead of the 1999 assembly elections.
Thackeray, however, expelled Rane from the Sena in July 2005 for "anti-party activities" after he alleged that tickets and posts were for sale in the Shiv Sena.
Rane joined the Congress in August 2005 and quit it in September 2017. "I waited for 12 years. When I found that there was no scope for me in the Congress, I decided to quit from the primary membership of the party and membership of the legislative council," he had said in his rant against the party over "injustice" done to him and his supporters.
Rane then said he had joined the Congress because he was assured that he will be made a chief minister in six months.
After quitting the Congress, Rane launched the Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha in October 2017. In 2018, he declared support for BJP and was elected to the Rajya Sabha on that party's nomination. In October 2019, he merged his party with the BJP.
Over the years, Rane's political rivals have been linking him to several incidents of violence, claiming his involvement in the murder of Shiv Sena worker Shridhar Naik and some other crimes in his Sindhudurg region of Konkan.
Former Shiv Sena leader Suresh Prabhu formally joined the BJP before being sworn in as Cabinet Minister in the first expansion of the Narendra Modi government in 2014.
Prabhu has represented the Rajapur Lok Sabha constituency in Konkan four times, from 1996 to 2009. He lost his seat in the 2009 general election. This is the same constituency that late Janata Party leader Madhu Dandavate had represented.
Bhujbal started his political career with the Shiv Sena party. He left the party in 1991 and joined the Indian National Congress. Later, after the Indian National Congress leader Sharad Pawar decided to split from the Congress and form his own party, the Nationalist Congress Party, Bhujbal went along with him.
Apart from these, Bhaskar Jadhav, Ganesh Naik, Sanjay Nirupam, Praveen Darekar, Bala Nandgaonkar, Tukaram Renge Patil, Rajan Teli, Vijay Vadettiwar, Kalidas Kolambkar also left the party. Few of them joined the other parties while few others joined Sena back.