Mumbai, Nov. 1 -- While there was speculation that Aaditya Thackeray, who was elected as a legislator for the first time, would lead the Shiv Sena in the state legislature, the party leadership handed over the responsibility to Eknath Shinde, Sena's Thane district chief and a minister in the outgoing government.

The 55-year-old leader entered the Sena as a worker in the early 1980s, and was elected a shakha pramukh in 1984 in Thane's Kisan Nagar. Shinde was elected a corporator in the Thane civic body in 1997, and was elected as an MLA from Thane in 2004. He climbed up the ladder in his three-decade-long career to become one of the few 'mass leaders' in the Uddhav Thackeray-led party. Shinde emulated his political guru, Sena leader from Th...