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.
|4th Chief Minister of Maharashtra|
5 December 1963 – 20 February 1975
|Preceded by||P. K. Sawant|
|Succeeded by||Shankarrao Chavan|
|Member of the Indian Parliament|
|Preceded by||Constituency created|
|Succeeded by||Ghulam Nabi Azad|
|Born||1 July 1913|
Gahuli, Hyderabad State, British India
|Died||18 August 1979 (aged 66)|
|Spouse(s)||Vatsala Vasantrao Naik|
|Alma mater||Morris College, Nagpur|
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.
He was the founder and Managing Committee member of the Janta Shikshan Prasarak Mandal and the Babasaheb Naik College of Engineering, Pusad. 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.