Sushil Kumar Shinde | india | Hindustan Times
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Sushil Kumar Shinde

Shinde was successfully elected MLA from Karmala constituency in Solapur district.

india Updated: Jan 30, 2006 00:29 IST

From a humble beginning as a court employee to the office of Governor and now into the Union Cabinet, Sushil Kumar Shinde has trodden a long and tough journey in his life.

Hailing from a poor cobbler's family of Solapur district, 65-year-old Shinde, a protege of Maratha leader Sharad Pawar, became the first Dalit chief minister of Maharashtra in January, 2003.

He was a sub-inspector in the state police intelligence wing when in 1971 he quit the government job and plunged into politics at the behest of Pawar, the then rising Congress politician.

Shinde was successfully elected MLA from Karmala constituency in Solapur district and became a minister of state in the Vasantrao Naik ministry.

Shinde resigned from Congress Party in 1978 and joined the Progressive Democratic Front Government led by Pawar. He remained with Pawar in the Congress(S) even after the PDF government was dismissed in 1980.

But, within three years, Shinde re-joined Congress to become Finance Minister in the Vasantrao Patil government and had a distinction of being the only Finance Minister to present nine successive budgets.

He was Sonia Gandhi's campaign manager in Amethi in 1999. In 2002, he contested the election for the post of vice president of India against NDA's Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and lost. He became Maharashtra chief minister in January 2003.

Despite leading the party to victory in 2004 assembly polls, he was replaced by Vilasrao Deshmukh and on October 30, 2004, was appointed Andhra Pradesh Governor.