Raipur: Fondly called as `Chawal Wale Baba` (the rice God), Dr Raman Singh, who on Sunday led BJP to a consecutive third victory in the Naxal-affected state of Chattisgarh, has earned the reputation of being a silent performer.
Never regarded as a very right-wing Hindu-nationalist politician, Singh(61) is known to skirt controversial issues such as Hindutva and conversions and focused only on the development and achievements, and promises of a better life for the people in his poll campaign.
An Ayurvedic doctor-turned politician, the two-term Chief Minister, who had an uninterrupted 10-year rule of the tribal-dominated state. Earned the `Chawal Wale Baba" sobriquet for the popularity of unique pro-welfare schemes including distribution of rice at Rs one and Rs two per kg to families belonging to extremely poor and below poverty lines categories.
Rice for Rs 1 a kg under the Antyodaya scheme and at Rs 2 for others below the poverty line (BPL) families were touted as one of the main achievements of the Raman Singh government.
Despite the recurring Maoist violence for which he has had his share of criticism, tech-savvy Singh has turned the backward state into a model of development.
He was also credited for bringing in Chhattisgarh Food Security Act to ensure food to people of the state, much before the National Food Security Act which was being considered as a "game changer" by the Congress party.
Singh has won praise from political rivals including Finance Minister P Chidambaram (during his tenure as Home Minister) for adopting pro-active policy to tackle naxalism.
He was credited for forming `Salwa Judum`--an anti-naxal movement, to check left wing extremism in the state-- but it was decried by human rights activists.
Overcoming anti-incumbency factor in the state, BJP led by Singh is all set to form the government in Chhattisgarh for the third time after a tightly fought elections.