December 11, 2023
NEW DELHI – Putting an end to days of speculation, Chhattisgarh’s tribal leader Vishnu Deo Sai has emerged as the new Chief Minister of the state. Vishnu Deo Sai’s appointment follows a race for the post that featured formidable contenders such as former CM Dr. Raman Singh, Union Minister Renuka Singh, Ramvichar Netam, Gomati Sai, and state president Arun Sao.
A historic milestone, Sai’s appointment marks the first time a BJP tribal leader has assumed the pivotal role of chief minister in Chhattisgarh. The influential role played by Amit Shah in meticulously crafting the chief minister’s selection process is evident in the party’s decision.
Notably, Vishnu Deo Sai is regarded as a preference of Dr. Raman Singh, who, when queried by observers, presented a list of names prominently featuring Sai. Following the election, Dr. Raman Singh extended his best wishes to Vishnu Deo Sai.
Sources suggest that Dr. Raman Singh, the former chief minister and BJP vice-president, is under consideration for the role of speaker in the Legislative Assembly. Speculation also surrounds the appointment of two deputy chief ministers in Chhattisgarh, with potential candidates being first-time MLAs Arun Sao and Vijay Sharma. Vijay Sharma secured victory in his inaugural election, while Arun Sao brings prior experience as a former Member of Parliament.
Several significant reasons influenced Vishnu Deo Sai’s selection as chief minister by the BJP, they are:
1. Extensive political experience: Holding positions such as MLA, MP, Union minister, and state president, Vishnu Deo Sai maintains a high profile. His family’s longstanding association with Jan Sangh and close ties with Dr. Raman Singh add to his political background.
2. Experience in organisation and government: Sai’s experience in both party and government roles makes him a seasoned politician with a clean image. He has consistently followed organizational directives and worked as a dedicated party worker.
3. Electoral success: In the assembly elections, BJP secured a stronghold, winning 14 out of 14 seats in Surguja and 8 out of 12 seats in Bastar. This unprecedented victory compelled the BJP to play the Adivasi card in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Amit Shah had promised to elevate Sai as a significant figure if he won.
With Vishnu Deo Sai becoming the new chief minister, the BJP aims not only to secure tribal votes in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections but also to strengthen its roots in Chhattisgarh after a five-year political exile.