Bhupesh Baghel meets Rahul Gandhi in Delhi, status quo in Chhattisgarh for now

Says former Congress president to visit state next week on his invite

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 27

The Chhattisgarh Congress crisis is nowhere near over with Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel meeting Rahul Gandhi for over three hours on Friday in a bid to save his post amid talks of rotation.

Emerging from Rahul’s residence, where he held a series of meetings, including with AICC general secretary Priyanka Vadra, state in-charge PL Punia and AICC general secretary organisation KC Venugopal, CM Baghel put up a brave face and dismissed talks of rotation of the CM’s post.

53 legislators support Baghel

  • As many as 53 MLAs arrived in Delhi in a show of strength in support of Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel

  • Ten mayors from Chhattisgarh also arrived in the Capital and demanded that Baghel be retained as the CM

“I have invited Rahul to Chhattisgarh in my capacity as the CM. He will be visiting the state next week and will take stock of the schemes. He will travel to Bastar and Sarguja. The Gujarat model has failed. We will showcase the Chhattisgarh model under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership now. Today we told our leader all that was in our heart and discussed everything from politics to governance,” Baghel said, indicating he had won a temporary breather. Signs of anxiety were, however, palpable in the CM’s camp.

As many as 53 MLAs arrived in the Capital today in show of support to Baghel with many terming the CM a “farmer leader working for OBCs and tribals” in a bid to set him apart from rival TS Singh Deo, incumbent state health minister and an erstwhile royal.

Ten mayors from Chhattisgarh also came to Delhi and demanded that Baghel retain the CM’s post.

On the issue of CM’s rotation — a promise Gandhis are learnt to have made to Deo once 2.5 years of the state government ended, Baghel said, “I was appointed CM by the high command. I will stay as CM as long as the high command wants me to. State in-charge PL Punia has already conveyed what had to be conveyed on the issue of rotation of CM’s post. What is left to be said now?

The anti-CM camp has flagged to Rahul a recent move by the state government to acquire by legislation a cash-strapped medical college owned by a family into which Baghel’s daughter is married. Baghel’s detractors have also been bringing up allocation of mining contracts in the state to the Adani group.

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