A business graduate assumes state’s top post (Profile)

December 5th, 2008 - 8:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Dec 5 (IANS) Farmers, lawyers and barristers have served as Maharashtra’s chief ministers in the past, and with Ashok Chavan named to the office Friday, it will be the first time that a business graduate assumes the post. It is also the first time that a son follows his father’s footsteps. The late Shankarrao B. Chavan was chief minister twice - between February 1975-May 1977 and later March 1986-June 1988.

Considered a political lightweight, 50-year-old Chavan has suddenly been catapulted to head Maharashtra, the most important state with its capital Mumbai as the country’s financial centre.

The appointment comes at a critical juncture in the state’s 48-year history when Mumbai has been traumatised by terror attacks, including last week which left 172 persons dead and over 250 injured.

Hailing from Nanded in Marathwada region, Chavan joined active politics barely two decades ago and was elected as a Lok Sabha Member from his home district (1987-89).

Later, he was elected to the State Legislative Council and served as a junior minister in Sharad Pawar’s government in 1993.

In 1999, Chavan was inducted as a cabinet minister for revenue in the state government during Vilasrao Deshmukh’s first term as CM.

In the Sushilkumar Shinde ministry, which took over in 2003, he was retained in the cabinet with the portfolios of transport, sports, and cultural affairs.

After the party returned to power in 2004, Chavan continued in the ministry, presently handling the critical industries portfolio, before becoming the 15th leader in the state to occupy the post of chief minister.

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