House leader Shiv Sena known for his equation with Devendra Fadnavis

THANE: A link with Shiv Sainiks at the grassroots level and easy access to Matoshree are the two main lines of the success story that, senior Shiv Sena The minister and four-time Thane MLA party, turned in the last three decades, political observers said.

Shinde was elected leader of the Sena legislative party on Thursday, a reward from Matoshree for his loyalty to the Thackeray dynasty.

With the heavyweights of the NCP Congress like Ashok Chavan, Ajit Pawar, Chhagan Bhujbal , Dhananjay Munde and Jitendra Awhad occupying the opposition seats in the legislative assembly and with the BJP-Sena alliance already destroyed by internal problems, even before the new Fadnavis regime is formally sworn, Shinde will have the difficult task of guiding Sena MLAs through the often stormy state assembly procedures, observers added. In addition, it will have to counteract the pressure of Aaditya Thackeray, Sena's GenNow power center in Vidhan Sabha, they added.

But Shinde, who has a weakness for seafood, loves to fish in troubled waters, an acolyte said. Maratha, who is great as cucumber, can combine political wisdom with well-tuned organizational skills to overcome a crisis, he added.

Shinde is real. It is the 'lambi kaa ghoda race' of the Seine, said a key BJP leader. In addition, excellent equations with Shinde will help Shinde, he said.

Shinde may have earned his candor, but his independent style of functioning and popularity may sooner or later make him suspicious in Matoshree's eyes, observers said.

Coming from a modest family at Thane's Wagle Estate, Shinde is credited with keeping the dominant Seine in the district after the death of veteran leader Thane of the Seine in 2001.

Shinde began his political career as a shakha pramukh at Wagle Estate in the 1980s and first became a corporate and then a house leader in Thane's civic body for four years. He then won four consecutive assembly elections, from Thane's seat in 2004 and later three times from Kopri Panchpakhadi. He had a brief period as leader of the opposition in 2014 when the Seine, for a very short period, sat on the opposition banks before joining the Fadnavis government. Later he became minister and guardian minister.