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January 18, 2003: Shinde becomes first Dalit CM of Maharashtra

Sushil Kumar Shinde was sworn in as Maharashtra’s 22nd Chief Minister

Image Credit: Gulf News Archives
Maharashtra Governor Mohammad Fazal greets the newly sworn-in Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde at Raj Bhavan in Mumbai.
Gulf News

2003 - Senior Congressman Sushil Kumar Shinde (above left) was sworn in as Maharashtra’s 22nd Chief Minister in a simple ceremony at the Raj Bhavan in Mumbai. But while a throng of supporters from his hometown Sholapur sent ripples of excitement through the crowd with their slogans, few doubt that Shinde, the first Dalit (lower cast) to become chief minister of a government, faced with the largest cash crunch ever, faces the biggest challenge in his career. Governor Mohammad Fazal administered the oath of office and secrecy to Shinde with star guest K.R. Narayanan, former and first Dalit president of India, also present at the function. Chhagan Bhujbal of the Nationlist Congress Party as Deputy Chief Minister and 14 other ministers were also sworn in.

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