A former Lok Sabha speaker (1991-1996), Shivraj Patil lost in the 2004 polls from Latur constituency in Maharashtra, but has still landed up the second most important position in the Union Cabinet -- that of the Home Minister.
First inducted in the Indira Gandhi-led government in 1980-82 as Minister of State for Defence, he was given independent charge of the Commerce Ministry between 1982-83, from where he was shifted to Science and Technology.
In the Rajiv Gandhi government, he was Minister for Personnel, Defence production and later held independent charge of Civil Aviation and Tourism.
He has also held a number of important positions in the party ever since Sonia Gandhi took over the presidentship of the party. He was the chairman of the manifesto committee of the party during the 1999 Lok Sabha election.
And he comes to the Union Cabinet with substantial legislative experience and has that unique distinction of being Speaker of both the Maharashtra Assembly and the Lok Sabha.
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