Who is Vishnu Deo Sai, BJP's Chhattisgarh CM pick? 10 things to know
Vishnu Deo Sai will be Chhattisgarh's new chief minister. A tribal BJP leader since 1990, Vishnu Deo Sai was a Union minister and Lok Sabha MP before.
Vishnu Deo Sai will be the new chief minister of Chhattisgarh. A tribal face, a political veteran who served as a Union minister, Vishnu Deo Sai emerged as the dark horse of the week-long suspense over the chief minister post of Chhattisgarh. Vishnu Deo was among the top CM post contenders but was not considered the frontrunner in a contest among Raman Singh and Renuka Singh. However, in a surprise, the observers after their meeting on Sunday – a week after the BJP wrested the Hindi heartland state from the Congress – Vishnu Deo's name was formally announced as the chief minister.
Who is Vishnu Deo Sai?
1. Vishnu Deo becomes Chhattisgarh's first tribal chief minister as Ajit Jogi's ST status was ruled out.
2. Coming from a strong political background, the new chief minister started his political career as a village sarpanch. In 1989, he was elected as a 'panch' of Bagia village panchayat and next year became the sarpanch unopposed. His grandfather late Budhnath Sai was a nominated MLA from 1947 to 1952. His 'bade pitaji' (elder brother of his father) late Narhari Prasad Sai was a member of the Jan Sangh (BJP's predecessor) and served as a two-term MLA (1962-67 and 1972-77) and was elected as an MP (1977-79) and served as a minister of state in the Janata Party government.
3. From a village sarpanch, Vishnu Deo Sai rose to the rank of the Union minister of state for steel in the first Cabinet of PM Modi.
4. BJP's Dilip Singh Judev (late) encouraged Vishnu Deo Sai to enter electoral politics in 1990. In the same year, Sai was elected as MLA for the first time on a BJP ticket from Tapkara (in Jashpur district) in undivided Madhya Pradesh.
5. In 1998, he was defeated in the assembly polls from Pathalgaon seat.
6. In the just-concluded assembly election in Chhattisgarh 2023, Vishnu Deo Sai won from north Chhattisgarh's Kunkuri constituency defeating UD Minj, the sitting Congress MLA.
7. Vishnu Deo won four consecutive Lok Sabha elections from the Raigarh constituency from 1999 to 2014. 4.
8. Vishnu Deo was not given a ticket in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
9. Vishnu Deo Sai was born in Jashpur. Before joining politics, he was an agriculturist by profession.
10. Vishnu Deo Sai is from the Kanwar tribe. He studied in a government school in Kunkuri and went to Ambikapur for graduation but quit studies midway and returned to his village in 1988.
“...With all honesty I will work for 'Sabka Vishwas' & the promises made to the people of Chhattisgarh under 'Modi Ki Guarantee' will be fulfilled. As a CM of the state, we will try to fulfil the promises. The first work will be to give 18 lakh 'Awas' to the people,” Vishnu Deo Sai said.
The BJP came under criticism for dragging its feet in announcing the chief minister names for Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The party appointed observers to finalise the name and Vishnu Deo Sai's name was the first to be announced while suspense over the other two state CM names continues.
Outgoing chief minister Bhupesh Baghel congratulated Vishnu Deo Sai and wished that he takes forward the journey of justice and progress of Chhattisgarh.
(With agency inputs)
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