Raipur, 27 May-2014, TNN: Senior tribal leader Vishnu Deo Sai, president of Chhattisgarh unit of Bharatiya Janata Party, has been inducted into the Modi government, ending speculations about another senior leader and seven-time winner Ramesh Bais’s possible entry into the cabinet.
Some party circles felt that Bais, who was a minister during the NDA regime under the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, could not make it to the cabinet because of his known proximity with senior l
After PV Narasimharao ministry during early 1990s, in which tribal leader Arvind Netam was a minister, it’s for the first time that a tribal leader from Chhattisgarh region is getting a berth in the Union ministry.
Sai, a four-time winner from Raigarh (ST) constituency, had got the post of party chief in 2006 after the BJP, under the leadership of then president Rajnath Singh, sacked another tribal leader Shiv Pratap Singh from the state party post after he went public criticizing the Raman Singh government.
Sai became party chief again late last year after tribal leader Ram Sewak Paikra got elected to the state assembly in December and became the state home minister.Ever since the BJP came to power in Chhattisgarh, state party chief’s post has been bestowed on tribal leadership. Indications are that with Sai’s induction into the Union ministry, voices will surface again for having any person from other than tribals as the new president of the state party unit and OBC leaders might stake claim for the post.
Meanwhile, race has begun within the ruling BJP ticket for by-election from Antagarh (ST) constituency, which will fall vacant following election of former minister Vikram Usendi to the Lok Sabha from Kanker (ST) constituency.