|4th Chief Minister of Maharashtra|
5 December 1963 – 20 February 1975
P. V. Cherian
Ali Yavar Jung
|Preceded by||P. K. Sawant|
|Succeeded by||Shankarrao Chavan|
|Member of the Indian Parliament
|Preceded by||Constituency created|
|Succeeded by||Ghulam Nabi Azad|
1 July 1913|
Pusad, Yavatmal district
|Died||18 August 1979
|Spouse(s)||Vatsala Vasantrao Naik|
|Alma mater||Morris College, Nagpur
Vasantrao Phulsing Naik (1 July 1913 – 18 August 1979) was an Indian politician who served as Chief Minister of Maharashtra from 1963 until 1975. To this date, he remains as the longest-serving Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Also, he had a credit to return to power after completion of full five years which could not be possible for any other chief minister in Maharashtra.[clarification needed]
V. P. Naik was born in Gavli, Pusad in 1913. His experience in grassroots politics made him a responsible legislator. He was a staunch supporter of Yashwantrao Chavan.
He was a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Madhya Pradesh during 1952-1957, of the then bilingual Bombay State during 1957-1960 and of Maharashtra during 1960 to 1977. In 1952 he was appointed Deputy Minister for Revenue in the Government of Madhya Pradesh. He was made Minister for Cooperation in 1957 and later Minister for Agriculture in the Government of Bombay State. From 1960 to 1963 he was Minister for Revenue in the Government of Maharashtra.
After the death of Marotrao Kannamwar, Naik was elected Chief Minister of Maharashtra, a post which he held for more than eleven years during 1963-1975. He is considered the father of the Green Revolution in Maharashtra. The industrialization of Maharashtra is largely the legacy of his progressive industrial policies.
V. P. Naik died in Singapore on 18 August 1979. Later his nephew Sudhakarrao Naik also became Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Many journalists and experts of political studies attribute the rise of right wing party Shiv Sena in the 1970s to his policy of building up the Shiv Sena as a counterweight to the communist-led labour unions in Mumbai.
The Shri Vasantrao Naik Government Medical College in Yavatmal city of Maharashtra state, was named in his honour. The 2015 Marathi film Mahanayak vasant tu, starring Chinmay Mandlekar, is his biopic.
- "6th Lok Sabha Members Bioprofile".
- Bhatt, S. C.; Bhargava, Gopal K. (2006). Land and People of Indian States and Union Territories. Volume XVI. Gyan Publishing House. p. 667.
- "Indian VIP dies". The Straits Times. 21 August 1979. p. 11.
- Bhanage, Mihir (30 November 2015). "Mahanayak Vasant Tu Movie Review". The Times of India. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
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