Arvind Sawant: The 'aapla manus' Shiv Sainik from Mumbai
In 1996, when a new political party, Shiv Sena was born, Sawant, a Maratha, joined it as a teenaged Shiv Sainik when he was in Class IXth
Mumbai: Arvind G Sawant, 68, is the Shiv Sena's third Union minister (after Manohar Joshi and Suresh Prabhu) hailing from Mumbai, the city where the party was born, the country's commercial and glamour capital, from where he is now elected for a second term from the prestigious Mumbai South Lok Sabha constituency.
In 1996, when a new political party, Shiv Sena was born, Sawant, a Maratha, joined it as a teenaged Shiv Sainik when he was in Class IXth, subsequently rose through the ranks to become a Deputy Leader of the party, and now catapulted as a minister in the second term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Over the years, he was a two-term MLC in the state, served as a Gat Pramukh, helped the Sena win civic and assembly elections all over the state as the party grew in stature both in Maharashtra and within the ruling National Democratic Alliance under former Prime Minister AB Vajpayee and later Modi.
Born on December 31, 1951, he is Regarded as an 'aapla Manus' (Our Man). Following the principles of the founder-patriarch of Shiv Sena, the late Bal Thackeray of "80 per cent social work, 20 per cent politics," Sawant is known for his oratorical skills and won the Best Orator in Maharashtra Legislative Council in 1996.
A science graduate from the University of Mumbai, he was actively involved in teaching students of financially weak families. He took part in cricket tournaments and contributed to building other sports, Ganeshotsav celebrations, cultural activities and 'Diwali with tribals', and travelled by ST buses all over Maharashtra to and from the ST Kamgar Sena.