Tribal leader Nand Kumar Sai joins Congress after quitting BJP


RAIPUR: A day after quitting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), veteran tribal leader Nand Kumar Sai on Monday joined the ruling Congress in Chhattisgarh where the Assembly polls due this year-end.

Sai (77), a former two-time Lok Sabha MP and three-time MLA, served as the BJP’s state president in both Chhattisgarh and undivided Madhya Pradesh in the past and has considerable influence in tribal-dominated parts of Surguja division (northern Chhattisgarh).

He joined the Congress on Monday in the presence of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, party’s state chief Mohan Markam and ministers at Rajiv Bhawan, the party state headquarters here.

On Sunday, Sai submitted his resignation to state BJP president Arun Sao and claimed his colleagues were hatching conspiracies and levelling false allegations to tarnish his image, which had left him deeply hurt.

Sai, a prominent tribal face of the party who hails from north Chhattisgarh, was first elected as the Janata Party MLA in 1977 from Tapkara seat (now in Jashpur district) in Madhya Pradesh.

In 1980, he was elected as the BJP’s Raigarh district unit chief. He was elected as the BJP MLA from Tapkara in 1985 and 1998.

He was elected to the Lok Sabha from Raigarh in 1989, 1996 and 2004 and Rajya Sabha in 2009 and 2010.

Sai was Chhattisgarh BJP president from 2003-05, and MP BJP chief from 1997 to 2000.

He was the first leader of opposition in the Chhattisgarh Assembly after the state was carved out from MP in November 2000.

Sai was appointed as the chairperson of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes in 2017.


Source: Press Trust of India

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