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Sushil Kumar Shinde

Sushilkumar Shinde
Shinde in 2010
Minister of Home Affairs
Incumbent
Assumed office
31 July 2012
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Preceded by Palaniappan Chidambaram
Minister of Power
In office
29 January 2006 – 31 July 2012
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Preceded by Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu
Succeeded by Veerappa Moily
Governor of Andhra Pradesh
In office
4 November 2004 – 29 January 2006
Chief Minister Yeduguri Sandinti Rajasekhar Reddy
Preceded by Surjit Singh Barnala
Succeeded by Rameshwar Thakur
Chief Minister of Maharashtra
In office
18 January 2003 – 4 November 2004
Governor Mohammed Fazal
Preceded by Vilasrao Deshmukh
Succeeded by Vilasrao Deshmukh
Personal details
Born (1941-09-04) 4 September 1941 (age 72)
Solapur, British Raj
(now India)
Political party Indian National Congress
Other political
affiliations
United Front (1996–2004)
United Progressive Alliance (2004–present)
Alma mater Dayanand College, Solapur
Shivaji University
University of Mumbai

Sushilkumar Sambhajirao Shinde (born 4 September 1941; Solapur, Maharashtra) is an Indian politician from the state of Maharashtra, and the current Minister of Home Affairs in the Manmohan Singh government. He previously served as the Chief Minister of the state of Maharashtra during 18 January 2003 to October 2004.[1] He is also the Leader of the house in Lok Sabha.[2][3][4]

Early life and education

Shinde was born on 4 September 1941, at Solapur in the present day Indian state of Maharashtra. Shinde completed his education with an honors degree in Arts from Dayanand College, Solapur; and later in law from Shivaji University.[5]

Career

Shinde started his career as a bailiff in Solapur sessions court, where he served from 1957 till 1965. Later, he joined the Maharashtra State Police as a constable,[6] and served as sub-inspector of police, Maharashtra state C.I.D. for six years.[7]

Politics

Shinde is a member of the Congress Party. He won the Maharashtra state assembly elections in 1978, 1980, 1985 and 1990.[8] Shinde was elected to Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra during July 1992 to March 1998.[9] In 2002, Shinde lost the election for the post of Vice-President of India contesting against the National Democratic Alliance candidate Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. He served as the chief minister of Maharashtra from 2003 to 2004 before being appointed as the Governor of Andhra Pradesh on October 30, 2004 replacing Surjit Singh Barnala, who became the Governor of Tamil Nadu. He left the office on January 29, 2006.

Shinde was elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha for second time from Maharashtra on March 20, 2006.[10][11][12] Shinde became the leader of the ruling party in Lok Sabha after his predecessor Pranab Mukherjee was elected President of India.[13] Shinde served as Power minister of India from 2006-2012. Later, he was appointed Home Minister of India in 2012.[14][15]

Criticisms and controversies

North India power failure

During the 2012 northern India power grid failure, Shinde deflected criticism by observing that India was not alone in suffering major power outages, as the United States and Brazil had both experienced similar blackouts within the previous few years.[16][17] Officials in Uttar Pradesh, where the problem was believed to have begun, said the grid could not keep up with the huge demand for power in the hot summer. Uttar Pradesh power corporation chief Avnish Awasthi stated that the grid collapse was due to the states drawing more than their allotted power to meet the summer demand.[17]

Coal gate

Shinde as the power minister, had written a letter dated September 20, 2007, to the PM, Manmohan Singh and argued on behalf of Bhushan Energy Limited (BEL) to allow the coal ministry to "allocate a captive coal block to let the operations begin at the 2,000MW thermal power plant in Angul district".[18] When contacted, Shinde admitted to writing such a letter. "I remember writing to the PM in 2007. BEL had written to us alleging 'discrimination' in allotment. Following this, I wrote to the PM (asking him) to use his discretion and resolve the matter." "However, when we cross-checked the details of the company and its antecedents, we decided to withdraw the allotment of the captive power block."[18] These revelations came under scrutiny during the coalgate scam controversy in 2012. At a function in Pune, after becoming the Home Minister, Shinde later remarked that like the Bofors scam even the Coalgate Scam will be forgotten. The comment was criticized by the opposition.[19][20] Shinde later tried to downplay his statement and stated: "I had gone to attend the felicitation ceremony of a former schoolmate. He did not make anyone laugh so I thought let me add some humour to the function."[19]

Delhi rape protests

In December 2012 after the New Delhi gang rape incident, lakhs of citizens took to the streets of New Delhi to protest against this gruesome incident. Thousands of protesters gathered outside Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's house, Rajpath and Raisina Hill demanding the death penalty for the rapists and stricter laws for sexual offenses. Shinde called in the Rapid Action Force and ordered them and the Delhi Police to use lathi charges and fire water cannons on all the peaceful protesters who had gathered outside these three locations. He was heavily criticized by activists, press and the social media for this act.[21] He later justified his actions by saying that Rashtrapati Bhawan is the prestigious house of the President of India and there was no reason for the protesters to protest over there. He also said that he was forced to act because the peaceful protests later turned violent by the entry of a few hooligan elements, and it was difficult to identify the goons among 3,000 people. On being asked why didn't he go to meet the protesters at India Gate, he compared the protesters to Maoists and said, "It's very easy to say that the Home Minister should go meet protesters there. Tomorrow if BJP workers demonstrate or if Maoists demonstrate with weapons, will I go and meet them too?". The press further attacked him for this irresponsible statement of his.[22]

"Hindu terror" remark

During a speech made in Congress's Chintan Shivir in Jaipur, Shinde had claimed that the home ministry had received a report that the RSS and BJP were promoting Hindu terrorism through their training camps. He also accused the RSS and BJP of being behind the Samjhauta Express bombings, Mecca Masjid and Malegaon blasts. His statements were condemned by the BJP for claiming something without giving credible proof. The BJP demanded his immediate resignation, which at his failure to do so they would begin nationwide agitation.[23] Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader, Dr Praveen Togadia demanded Shinde to take back his words and apologize to the whole country.[24] Shiv Sena also condemned his statement saying that in the aftermath of 26/11 Terrorist Attack, the Congress had said that terror should not be associated with any color or religion. However, this time the Congress had raised the issue of "Saffron terrorism." Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar too slammed him calling his statements "irresponsible" that clearly showed his "immaturity".[25]

The Islamic terrorist organizations Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa in Pakistan congratulated him and welcomed his statements.[26]

Personal life

Sushilkumar Shinde is married to Ujwala S. Shinde and the couple have three daughters. His daughter Praniti Shinde is an MLA of Solapur, Maharashtra.

References

External links

  • Profile on Rajya Sabha website
Political offices
Preceded by
Vilasrao Deshmukh
Chief Minister of Maharashtra
2003–2004
Succeeded by
Vilasrao Deshmukh
Preceded by
Surjit Singh Barnala
Governor of Andhra Pradesh
2004–2006
Succeeded by
Rameshwar Thakur
Preceded by
Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu
Minister of Power
2006–2012
Succeeded by
Veerappa Moily
Preceded by
Palaniappan Chidambaram
Minister of Home Affairs
2012–present
Incumbent

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