We will make him (Vishnu Deo Sai) a big man, said Amit Shah while addressing a poll rally
The BJP today ended the suspense over the Chief Minister pick in Chhattisgarh by naming prominent tribal leader Vishnu Deo Sai for the top job. However, weeks ahead of this announcement, Union Minister Amit Shah had dropped a big hint while canvassing for Mr Sai for the Chhattisgarh assembly elections.
"Aap inko (Vishnu Deo Sai) vidhayak banado, unko bada aadmi banane ka kaam hum karenge (you make him MLA, we will make him a big man)," said Mr Shah while addressing a poll rally in Kunkuri - the seat Mr Sai won by defeating Congress' sitting MLA UD Minj by a margin of 25,541 votes.
Kunkuri seat is in the state's Surguja division where the BJP won all 14 segments.
The 59-year-old was elected leader of the BJP's legislature party in the state during the meeting of 54 newly-elected party MLAs at the party's state headquarters in Raipur.
"As the Chief Minister, I will try to fulfil PM Modi's guarantees (pre-poll promises of the BJP) through the government," Mr Sai said after the meeting.
Mr Sai started his political career as a village sarpanch and rose to become a Union minister and multiple-time Lok Sabha MP.
He also held various key positions within the party. He served as the State President of the BJP for Chhattisgarh from 2020 to 2022. He has also been a member of the National Executive Committee of the BJP.
He was the Union Minister of State for Steel in the first Narendra Modi government. Mr Sai has earned a reputation for being a dedicated and hardworking leader.
Naming Mr Sai as the Chief Minister is a significant move in the state Adivasis account for nearly 32 per cent of the population and are the second most dominant social group after OBCs.
The BJP won 54 seats in the 90-member Assembly in the recently held polls, while the Congress was reduced to 35 seats from the 68 it won in 2018. Significantly, the party, which had suffered a huge setback in tribal-dominated seats in 2018, won all the 14 assembly segments in the tribal-dominated Surguja region and eight out of the 12 seats in another Adivasi belt Bastar.