Prithviraj Chavan was the 17th Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Chavan is a graduate of Birla Institute of Technology and Science and University of California in mechanical engineering. He spent time working in the field of aircraft instrumentation and designing audio recorders for anti-submarine warfare in the US before returning to India and becoming an entrepreneur in 1974. Referred to in the media as a technocrat with a clean, non-controversial image and a low-profile leader.
Chavan was drawn into politics after meeting with Rajiv Gandhi. Chavan started his political career in 1991; his name was proposed by Mr. Hindurao Sakharam Jagtap (President of the Karad Taluka Youth Congress Committee) as the Congress party nominee in place of his late mother, and went on to win the seat of Karad thrice, in 1991, 1996 and 1998 but lost in 1999.
He has been involved in the Indian National Congress bureaucracy for most of his adult life, notably as a member of the Rajya Sabha (the upper house of the India's Parliament) and later architect of the civil nuclear liability bill. Chavan held five portfolios in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government that includes the ministry of science and technology. He became chief minister of Maharashtra in 2010 at the instance of Congress President Sonia Gandhi succeeding Ashok Chavan. He resigned as the chief minister of Maharashtra after the ruling NCP-Congress alliance split in the state.