Shehzad Poonawalla, 28, is the youngest Secretary of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC). He was appointed on Tuesday.Active in politics since age of 16 Shehzad Poonawalla was the NSUI Vice President of Pune City. As NSUI VP he took up many issues in Pune University for student welfare. He has been fighting for students rights and was active in taking up FTII, JNU, Rohith Vemula issue within Congress party.
He is a first generation politician and has no family in politics.
He has completed BCom from Ness Wadia College in Pune. He has completed a Master’s programme from MIT-SOG, Pune. He was a school topper from St Vincent’s High School in Pune and secured Gold Medal in Masters Programme.
He served as the youngest Additional Private Secretary to Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs in Government of India during the UPA 2 Government. He was incharge of election management for Congress party in Uttar Pradesh in 2012. He has good organisational experience and has worked with media department in 2011.
He has a huge following on social media.
He was selected by Congress party for national media spokesman training in September 2013 as he is very articulate on TV debates. He is one of the most critical voices against BJP RSS on national and regional media.
As a civil rights activist he has fought many cases for minority rights including Muzaffarnagar riots cases, Dadri lynching case, Zeeshan Khan case (Mumbai Muslim boy was denied job) , cases of housing discrimination against Dalits, Transgenders, Minorities, etc.
He is also fighting for rights of IDBI Bank workers protesting against privatisation of the public sector bank. He has also been at the forefront in raising issues relating to farmer suicides. As a regular columnist for many national papers and web portals he has been championing the cause of Dalits and other disadvantaged sections.
Being a young, student-oriented Muslim face he is also seen as a middle class, urban face of the party.
He has a pocket of influence in Pune and Mumbai and in other urban areas across Maharashtra.