When Amit Shah promised to make Chhattisgarh's Vishnu Deo Sai a 'big man'
"Vishnu Dev ji is an experienced leader. Make him an MLA and I will make him a big man," Amit Shah said.
As Vishnu Deo Sai's name was announced as the BJP's chief minister in Chhattisgarh on Sunday, Union home minister Amit Shah's promise to the people of Kunkuri came to the surface. Sai won from this seat in north Chhattisgarh. "Vote for him. We will make him a big man when we come to power," Amit Shah said during a campaign rally. The result of four states -- Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh -- were announced on December 3. BJP won three states and Vishnu Deo is the first CM name that the party announced a week later after much suspense and deliberation. Several names were in discussion and Vishu Deo Sai was not the frontrunner as he is a fresh face. After the announcement which came as a huge fillip to the tribal community of the state, Amit Shah was hailed for keeping his promise.
"BJP has brought a seasons politician who has been MP, MLA and state unit chief. Aap inko vidhayak bana do, unko bada aadmi banane ka kaam hum karenge, hum karege," Amit Shah said at that time.
59-year-old Vishnu Deo Sai has been a prominent tribal leader in Chhattisgarh whose work ranged from the grassroots to the Union cabinet. He started his political career as a village sarpanch and the rose to become a minister of state in PM Modi's 2014 Cabinet. He was not given a ticket in the 2019 Lok Sabha election but was fielded in the assembly election. Sai headed BJP's Chhattisgarh unit thrice, the recent being a period between 2020-2022.
Sai's family background is in politics and 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.
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