A former chief minister of Maharashtra, Sushil Kumar Shinde served as the Power minister in the first UPA regime.
He was the first Dalit to serve as chief minister of Maharashtra.
Despite the Congress winning the 2004 Maharashtra assembly elections, he lost the bid to become Chief Minister for another term and was replaced by Vilasrao Deshmukh.
On October 30, 2004, he was appointed the Governor of Andhra Pradesh (Constitutionally, the post of governor of an Indian state is not a political post.) He replaced Surjit Singh Barnala, who became the Governor of Tamil Nadu. He served as governor for slightly more than one year before resigning and leaving office on January 29, 2006.
Shinde was elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra on March 20, 2006.