Raipur, December 10: For Raman Singh, who spearheaded BJP's victory campaign in Chattisgarh to earn a second second successive term, it was organisational skills and the ability to push populist economic programmes that stood him apart from the rest.
An ayurvedic doctor by profession, Singh was the natural choice for the chief minister's post after BJP's victory in the 2003 Assembly elections when the party won 50 seats in the 90-member House.
Beating predictions of a tough anti-incumbency wave against him, the chief minister repeated the feat in the current elections and got for the party the same number of seats and has now now been rewarded with the top for a second term.
Observers believe his low profile and clean image coupled with his focus on development with populist schemes ensured that the party overcome problems of incumbency.
Asked how he managed to fight the anti-incumbency factor a jubilant Singh said, "It is because of my government's pro-poor policies, including provision of 35 kg rice each at Rs 3 to 35-lakh families."
When Singh earned the distinction of becoming the first elected chief minister of Chhattisgarh five years ago, the party had not not projected him as a candidate for the top post after shifting him from the union council of ministers to head the state unit.