From village panch to top man: Tribal leader Vishnu Deo Sai is Chhattisgarh’s 4th chief minister : The Tribune India

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From village panch to top man: Tribal leader Vishnu Deo Sai is Chhattisgarh’s 4th chief minister

Chhattisgarh state BJP chief Arun Sao and Kawardha MLA likely to take oath as deputy CMs, former CM Raman Singh in contention for assembly Speaker post: BJP sources

From village panch to top man: Tribal leader Vishnu Deo Sai is Chhattisgarh’s 4th chief minister

BJP leader Vishnu Deo Sai being garlanded by party leaders Sarbananda Sonowal and Dushyant Kumar Gautam after he was elected as the next Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh during BJP Legislature Party meeting, in Raipur, December 10, 2023. PTI



Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, December 10

Senior tribal leader from Chhattisgarh and a former union minister Vishnu Deo Sai was on Sunday elected the fourth chief minister of the state at a meeting of the BJP legislature party held under the aegis of three central observers.

BJP central observer and tribal affairs minister Arjun Munda made the announcement after the meeting in Raipur.

Meanwhile, as per BJP sources Chhattisgarh state BJP chief Arun Sao and Kawardha MLA are likely to take oath as deputy CMs with Sai, while former CM Raman Singh in contention for assembly Speaker post.

Sai was elected MLA from Jaspur's Kunkuri seat in the recent election which the BJP swept and is considered to be close to ex chief minister Raman Singh.

Sai's election is being seen as BJP's thanksgiving to tribals who swung the Chhattisgarh results in saffron favour when no one had anticipated the incumbent Congress to lose.

Sai's elevation is equally a message of encouragement to BJP cadres that hard work will ultimately pay and plum positions were not any prominent leader's reserve.

Sai, a native of village Bagiya in Kunkuri's Kansabel area, started his public life as a ‘panch’ in his village.

In 1990 Sai, originally a farmer, was chosen sarpanch of Bagiya village. Between 1990 and 1998, he served as MLA Tapkara in undivided Madhya Pradesh.

He contested the 1999 Lok Sabha election and won from Raigarh, a segment he represented in the 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

A former two term state chief of the BJP, Sai is known to have friends across factions and has the capacity to carry everyone along.

Having been state chief twice he knows the strengths and weaknesses of the party organisation and cadres and is expected to use his skills to deliver all 11 Lok Sabha seats in Chhattisgarh in the 18th general election next year.

With the election of Sai it is curtains for Raman Singh, a three term CM, who lauded the elevation of the tribal leader as the BJP under prime minister Narendra Modi effected a leadership change.

Sai also served as union minister of state from 2014 to 2019 and is currently a member of the BJP national executive.

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