Sharad Pawar, the President of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), was the chief minister of Maharashtra thrice – 1978-1980, 1988-1991, and 1993-1995.
Pawar entered the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for the first time in 1967, representing Baramati on a Congress party ticket. Pawar broke away from the Congress to join the Janata Party in 1978, becoming the chief minister of Maharashtra for the first time. This Progressive Democratic Front government was dismissed in February 1980 following Indira Gandhi's return to power.
In 1983, Pawar assumed the presidency of the Indian National Congress (Socialist). He won the Lok Sabha election from the Baramati constituency in 1984. He also won an Assembly election in March 1985 from Baramati Assembly constituency.
Pawar returned to Congress (Indira) in 1987 and became the CM of Maharashtra twice subsequently. After Rajiv Gandhi's death in 1991, he is said to have been one of the contender's for the post of the Prime Minister.
He was expelled from the Congress in 1999 after he questioned the foreign origins of Sonia Gandhi. Thereafter, he founded the NCP.
Pawar was the chairman of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from 2005 to 2008 and the president of the International Cricket Council from 2010 to 2012. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian honour, in 2017.
Pawar’s influence also cuts across political parties, and he has groomed or helped several leaders climb up the ladder. When the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) couldn't muster a majority in Maharashtra state polls, the veteran leader offered unconditional support that helped the saffron party buy time to negotiate with the Shiv Sena. In the Lok Sabha elections 2019, his party might have a role to play if a coalition government is to rule. Pawar could help work out a deal in such a situation.