Sushil Kumar Shinde is a politician of Maharashtra. He is currently the cabinet minister of Power in the Manmohan Singh government. He belongs to the Congress Party. He is the first Dalit to have become the chief minister of Maharashtra. He served as a chief minister from January 18, 2003 to November 1, 2004.
He was born in a very poor cobbler's family. His first job was that of a sub-inspector of police. He also studied law. Encouraged by Sharad Pawar, then a rising young Congress politician, in 1971, he quit his sub-inspector's job to enter politics. He contested an assembly by-election from Karmala in Solapur three years later and won by 25,000 votes. In November that year, the late VP Naik, then the chief minister, made Shinde a junior minister in his government.
In 1978, Shinde resigned from the Congress Party as well as the Vasantrao Patil government and joined the Progressive Democratic Front government led by Pawar. After the PDF government was dismissed in 1980, Shinde remained with Pawar and contested and won the assembly election in June that year as a member of Congress (Socialist).
Within three years, Shinde rejoined the Congress Party to become the finance minister in the new Vasantrao Patil government.
He acted as Sonia Gandhi's campaign manager in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh in 1999.
In 2002, he contested the elections for the post of Vice-President of India against the National Democratic Alliance's candidate Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and lost.
Despite winning the 2004 Maharashtra assembly elections, he lost the bid to become the chief minister and was replaced by Vilasrao Deshmukh. On October 30, 2004, he was appointed the Governor of Andhra Pradesh. He replaced Surjit Singh Barnala, who is now the Governor of Tamil Nadu. He served as governor for slightly more than one year before resigning and leaving office on January 29, 2006.