Nitin Jairam Gadkari is an Indian politician and the current Minister for Road Transport and Highways as well as Minister for Shipping and also the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. He is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and has also served as its president from 2010 to 2013.
He has also handled the charge of ministries of Rural Development, Panchayat Raj and Drinking Water and Sanitation for a brief period after the death of Gopinath Munde. Gadkari is known for his tenure as the Public Works Department Minister of Maharashtra that earned him the sobriquet of 'Flyover Man' for the construction of 55 flyovers in Mumbai and Mumbai-Pune motorway.
Gadkari was born on May 27, 1957, in a middle-class Brahmin family of Nagpur. He has been associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh since his childhood days. He has an M.Com and LLB from the University of Nagpur and also has a degree of Diploma in Business Management.
Gadkari was a student activist and joined Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in 1976. He was also the organizer of the 28th National Convention of ABVP and was later made the President of BJP's youth wing - Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha at the age of 24. At the age of 32, he became the Member of Legislative Council (MLC) and held this position for four consecutive tenures in 1990, 1996, 2002 and 2008.
As an MLC, he was a member of many committees and was included in the High Power Committee for privatization from 1995 to 1999. He founded MSRDC Ltd. in 1995 and became its Chairman and remained in this position until 1999. He also has served as the Guarding Minister of Nagpur District. He joined the Maharashtra Cabinet as the Minister of Public Works and at the age of 42, he became the leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Council.
Gadkari was appointed as the BJP Maharashtra President in 2004. In 2009, he became the national president of BJP and remained in the post until 2013. He was appointed as the Chairman of Metropolis Beautification Committee of Maharashtra. In the 2014 General Elections, Gadkari contested from Nagpur Constituency and won by a margin of 2,85,000 votes. In the first Modi ministry, he became the Union Minister for Surface Transport & Shipping. Gadkari is married to Kanchan Gadkari and they have three children.
Gadkari is known for his tenure at the PWD ministry in Maharashtra where he has played a significant role in transforming the road transport system of the state. He played one of the most important roles in the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana and also has a great contribution in transformation of Central PWD of Nagpur.