Sushilkumar Shinde is an Indian politician and the former Minister of Home Affairs in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. He is also the former Chief Minister of Maharashtra and also has served as the Leader of the House in Lok Sabha. He is known to be close to the Gandhi family and has also worked as the Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi’s election manager in Amethi. He has also served as the Power Minister. In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, he contested the election from the Congress Party but was defeated in the election by a margin of 149,674 votes by Sharad Bansode of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Born on 4th September 1941 at Solapur in a Marathi family, he was born to poor family to father Sambhajirao Shinde and mother Sakhu Bai. His family belonged to a Dalit caste. He completed his schooling from Solapur and later he went to Sangameshwar and Dayanand College in Solapur for his B.A. and L.L.B degree. Later he also studied in Shivaji University, Kolhapur, and Maharashtra and in New Law College University of Bombay. After completing his education, he started his career as a bailiff in Solapur sessions court and later he joined the Maharashtra State Police as a constable and served as sub inspector of police in Maharashtra state CID for six years under Amukuraj Patil. Later he decided to join politics and contested from Karmala Assembly, his home district of Solapur in 1974. He went on to become a junior minister in the Government of the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra VP Naik. Later, Shinde resigned from the Congress Party and joined the Progressive Democratic Front Government led by Sharad Pawar in 1978. However, he later rejoined Congress after the PDF was dismissed in 1980.He won the Maharashtra Assembly elections four times in 1978, 1980, 1985 and 1990. In this period, he became the Cabinet Minister, Youth and Social Welfare Minister, Planning, Finance, Health and Labour, Transport, Sports Later in 1990, he was appointed as the President of Pradesh Congress Committee Maharashtra and held this post till 1991. He then became the General Secretary of All India Congress Committee in 1992 and held this post till 1996. In the same period, he was a member of Rajya Sabha from 1992 to 1998. He was member on Committee of Rules Member, member on Committee on Defense member, Ministry of Defense, Consultative Committee. He was elected to 12th Lok Sabha in 1998 to 1999 (or 1998-99) and was re-elected to 13th Lok Sabha in 1999. He was appointed as the General Secretary of A.I.C.C in 1999. He was elected as the Member of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for the 6th term in 2003 to 2004. He was re elected as Member of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly 7th term in 2004. He became to be known at the national level when he competed against Bhairon Singh Shekhawat of the National Democratic Alliance for Vice President. However, Shinde lost the elections. He became Chief Minister of Maharashtra in 2003. Later, he was sent to Andhra Pradesh as a Governor after his position as Chief Minister was taken up by Vilasrao Deshmukh in 2004. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2006 and became Power Minister. After completing his tenure, he was again appointed as Union Cabinet Minister for Home Affairs in 2012. In 2014 Genaral elections, Shinde was defeated by Sharad Bansode of BJP with a margin of 1,49,674 votes.
Sushil Kumar Shinde is married to Ujwala Shinde and has three daughters. One of his daughters, Praniti Shinde, is a Congress MLA from Solapur constituency in Maharashtra. Sushilkumar Shinde came under intense criticism by the Indian media for addressing Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief and his alleged conspirators for Mumbai 26/11 Attacks, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed using honorifics like ‘Mr’ and ‘Shri’. He is a very well known and respected politician of Maharashtra and the 2014 release Marathi film Dusari Goshta is loosely based on his life and the movie is about a person who has a tough childhood and his journey to become a popular politician.