Shri Sushilkumar Shinde was born on September 4, 1941, in a humble family at Solapur, Maharashtra.
His urge to acquire education was so strong that poverty and even failures, at different stages did not deter him from going ahead on the path
of success. Working during the day for livelihood and studying during the night for education was the way he chose to attain knowledge. At a tender age of 15 he started working as a Boy Peon in the Sessions Court Solapur, and did his schooling at a local Night School and passed SSC in 1961. As he continued to gain education he was promoted as a Court Peon and then Court Clerk, in the same court. He had an intense desire to become an advocate in the same court where he served as a peon. For fulfilling the same dream after passing B.A. (Hons) in 1965, he resigned from the Court after 9 years of service and joined the Law College at Pune. The same year he was selected as an officer in Mumbai Police CID. However he continued his Law studies and passed LLB in 1969. He resigned from Police service in Nov 1971.
Destiny was to take this visionary in some other direction. In Dec 1971 he was appointed as convener of congress forum for socialist action. In 1972 he was given a candidature for Karmala reserve constituency from Solapur, but the candidature was changed by the Central Election committee at last moment. He lost the Job and lost the candidature. Not compromising with the game of destiny he started practicing in Mumbai. In 1974 he was asked to contest by election from the same constituency and was elected with a margin of 25000 votes. The then Chief Minister of
Maharashtra Shri Vasant Rao Naik inducted him as a minister of state in state cabinet the same year.
He continued to win elections from the different constituencies of Solapur district in 1977, 1980, 1985, 1990, 2003 and 2004. He led various departments as cabinet minister in Maharashtra e.g. Finance, Planning, Industry, Urban Development, Youth and Sports, Social Welfare, Transport, Health etc. He was the first Finance minister in India to present nine successive budgets in state assembly.
He was also the President of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee for two terms in 1991 and 1995.
Shri PV Narasimha Rao, the then Prime Minister of India and Congress party president asked him to join national politics in 1992 and he was appointed General Secretary AICC. Consecutively he resigned from Maharashtra Cabinet. He was elected to Rajya Sabha in June 1992. For his outstanding performance as a Parliamentarian in 1993 and 1994
he was presented National Citizen's Award. He was amongst top questioners in the Rajya Sabha during 1995-98.
Though Shri Shinde belongs to a Scheduled Caste community but since 1990 he has been contesting from unreserved seat, a testimony that he enjoys the confidence and acceptability as a leader of all the sections of society. In March 1998 he won with margin of over one lakh votes and again in October 1999 by over 78000 votes against his nearest rival. He was nominated as the Member of Congress working Committee (I) in 1998 by the Congress President, Smt. Sonia Gandhi and appointed as
General Secretary, AICC (I) for the second time in February, 1999, also as a Member of Central Election Committee..
He was jointly put up as a candidate for election to the Office of the Vice-President of India in 2002 by all the Opposition parties together, led by the Congress Party, the main Opposition Party in Parliament. He got the highest votes ever by a losing candidate in any of the Vice Presidential
elections, since the promulgation of the Constitution of India..
On 18th January 2003, Shri Shinde was elected leader of Maharashtra Congress Legislature Party and assumed the charge of Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Shri Shinde was known as a Chief Minister with policies for all the sections of society. His policies for downtrodden were highly appreciated. When all the parties were suffering with anti-incumbency in the states
Shri Shinde lead the Congress party back to power in the State in the general election in October 2004.
In November 2004 Shri Shinde was assigned the responsibility of Governor of Andhra Pradesh. He took oath of Governor on 4th Nov. 2004. As Governor he left his mark in the hearts of people of Andhra Pradesh. He demitted office of Governor on 28th January 2006,
when he was called back to active politics to assume the responsibilities of a Union Cabinet Minister.
Widely traveled, Shri Shinde has visited more then 30 countries. As the Minister of Labour in Govt. of Maharashtra he led the Indian delegation to ILO in 1979. He represented India in United Nations in 1985 on 40th Anniversary of U.N. with the then Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi. He was member of Indian delegation to United Nations General Assembly twice in 1997 and 2002 and actively participated in the second committee of the 57th UN General Assembly. He attended the UN Conference against Racial Discrimination,
Xenophobia and Related Intolerance at Durban from Aug. 31 to Sept.17, 2001. He was a member of the delegation led by the President of India to the Republic of China.
An ardent lover of art and culture Shri Shinde has acted in many stage dramas during his college days. Shri Shinde has authored three books,
two in Marathi & one in Hindi. He directed his efforts to espousing the cause of the weak and the downtrodden during his entire political career.
Shri Shinde took oath as Union Minister on 29 January 2006 and was given charge of Ministry of Power. He was appointed as Member of Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs,
Cabinet Committee on Management of Natural Calamities and Chairman and member of various GOMs.
Shri Shinde was elected to the 15th Lok Sabha from Solapur Constituency. He took oath as Union Cabinet Minister on 22nd May, 2009 and took charge of Minister of Power on 28th May, 2009.