Change in Chhattisgarh? Bhupesh Baghel, TS Singh Deo in Delhi today
Speculations have been rife that there has been a consensus for the top post based on a two-and-a-half-year power-sharing formula between Bhupesh Baghel and TS Singh Deo.
Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel and state health minister TS Singh Deo will meet the Congress leadership in Delhi on Tuesday morning amid rumours of an ongoing tussle between the two leaders for the change of leadership in the state. Chhattisgarh Congress in charge PL Punia will be present at the meeting. As Baghel completed two years as the Chhattisgarh chief minister on June 17, the tension between the CM and Singh Deo started brewing. Speculations have been rife that there has been a consensus for the top post based on a two-and-a-half-year power-sharing formula between Baghel and Singh Deo.
Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel left for Delhi on Monday evening and TS Singh Deo has already reached the national capital.
“After a long time, I am going to Delhi. (Last month) I visited Himachal Pradesh to take part in the funeral of Virbhadra Singh ji as a representative of Sonia Gandhi during which I met Priyanka (returning to Delhi),” Baghel told reporters at Raipur’s Swami Vivekanand airport before taking off for Delhi. “This time the meeting is with Rahul Gandhi. There will also be a meeting with AICC general secretary KC Venugopal and state's in-charge PL Punia,” Baghel said.
The Chhattisgarh chief minister was also asked whether Singh Deo will also be present during the meeting with Gandhi. “I have information of meeting with Rahul ji only,” he replied to the query.
On his part, Singh Deo, when asked about the meeting in Delhi on Tuesday, said, “You should ask Punia ji (PL Punia), he is the correct person to provide more details.”
The differences within the Congress party spilled over when Singh Deo walked out of the state assembly on July 27. He demanded clarity from his government over allegations that one of his relatives was involved in an alleged attack on Congress legislator Brihaspat Singh. Singh alleged that his convoy was attacked at the behest of Singh Deo in Surguja district, which is the health minister’s assembly constituency.
The issue was resolved after PL Punia intervened and Singh Deo returned to assembly after Singh apologised for his remarks against the minister.
The Congress won the assembly polls held in December 2018 with a thumping majority and then the state Congress president Bhupesh Baghel was made the chief minister. The Congress has 70 MLAs in the 90-member assembly.