Vishnu Deo Sai Assumes Role as Chhattisgarh’s New CM

Bhopal: Vishnu Deo Sai – tribal leader and former Union Minister – is the BJP’s pick as the next Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh in the run-up to 2024 general election. This afternoon, he was elected as leader of the BJP’s legislature party at the meeting of the 54 newly-elected MLAs.

The selection – made after a week of deliberations — is along the lines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s idea of having a tribal leader as the Chief Minister of the state, where tribals form 32 per cent of the population. They are the largest population group in the state after the Other Backward Classes — a situation that had initially left the BJP torn between picking a tribal and an OBC member. .

The decision, however, went in favour of tribals in view of the party’s unprecedented performance in the states’ tribal areas. The BJP, never on top of tribals’ list of favourites, had managed to turn around the mood and corner all 14 assembly seats in the tribal-dominated Surguja region and eight of the 12 seats in Bastar.

Mr Sai, 59, is also known to be favoured by the party’s ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Additionally, he is close to former Chief Minister Raman Singh, who has been the party’s tallest leader in the state.

The four-term MP — who has been the president of the Chhattisgarh unit of the party from 2020 to 2022 — is known for his organisational capability and has a non-controversial image.

Previously, he has been a member of the BJP National Working Committee. When the Narendra Modi government came to power in 2014, he was named as the junior minister for steel.

Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP president J P Nadda and other party leaders, Mt Sai said, “As the Chief Minister, I will try to fulfil PM Modi’s guarantees through the government”.

Sanctioning 18 lakh houses (to beneficiaries of a housing scheme) will be the first work (to be done) in the state, he said.

That Mr Sai could be picked for a larger role was indicated by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who while addressing a poll rally in the Kunkuri last month, had asked the voters to elect him. Mr Sai would be made a “big man” if the party comes to power in the state, Mr Shah had said, .

The BJP won 54 seats in the 90-member Assembly in the recently held assembly election and wrested power from the Congress, which was reduced to 35 seats from the 68 it won in 2018.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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