Raipur: A tribal group, Sarva Adivasi Samaj (SAS), wants a tribal chief minister for Chhattisgarh.

"Adivasis are passing through a critical phase. Unless Chhattisgarh has an adivasi chief minister, their interests cannot be safeguarded," BJP MP Nand Kumar Sai told.

Sai, who is also linked to the Samaj, added: "On the basis of their majority (in Chhattisgarh), they need to be given the chance to rule the state."

According to Census 2011, tribals constitute around 32 percent of the population in Chhattisgarh.

"Chhattisgarh was created to ensure all round development of adivasis. Unless an adiwasi leads the state, problems faced by them cannot be understood in the right perspective," added Congress leader Arvind Netam.

At a meeting on Sunday, Samaj leaders said names of probable tribal candidates for the 2013 assembly elections would be submitted to the Congress and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

However, if the parties did not field them, the Samaj would itself launch a political party, a member said.

Chhattisgarh's first Chief Minister and Congress leader Ajit Jogi backed the demand for a tribal chief minister.

(Agencies)

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