After announcing the chief ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh over a period of two days, the Congress is likely to announce the chief minister for Chhattisgarh on Saturday.
Congress party president Rahul Gandhi on Friday met the four contenders for chief ministership in the national capital. The contenders are, state party chief Bhupesh Baghel, leader of Opposition in outgoing assembly and Ambikarpur MLA TS Singh Deo, veteran leader Charan Das Mahant and OBC leader Tamradhwaj Sahu. Deo and Baghel are being seen as leading contenders for the top post.
The Congress will hold its legislature party meeting at the party's state office Rajiv Bhawan in Raipur on Saturday to make the announcement. All four leaders along with party observer Mallikarjun Karge and Congress state in-charge P L Punia will arrive by a special plane, according to news agency PTI.
Speaking to news agency IANS, Deo said, "We had a meeting with Gandhi over the issue and a decision on who will be the chief minister will be taken on Saturday."
With multiple claimants to the Chief Minister`s post in all the three states, there have been tussles between the rival camps, with each of them strongly staking their claims for the post. There was high drama both in case of selecting Kamal Nath and Gehlot as the respective chief ministers.
Congress ended the BJP's 15-year rule in Chhattisgarh in the recently concluded Assembly elections by winning 68 of the 90 seats.
Outgoing Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh said that he will not move to the Centre but remain in state politics. The Congress, in the recently concluded election, ended the BJP's 15-year rule in the state. "Mai yahi tha aur yahi rahunga (I was here and will stay here)," Singh said at a press conference.
"Now I will keep on coming to the BJP office in my new role. I will be meeting the press more often. Earlier as a CM, there were certain limitations for me but now I will come to the party office and keep on meeting my workers," a smiling Singh said. He also touched on the Supreme Court's ruling on the Rafale issue and slammed Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.
"For the last eight months, as part of a well-planned conspiracy, an attempt was being made to malign the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi by levelling false charges.
"The Supreme Court's decision has exposed the lies of the Congress president," he said.
The Congress, itself embroiled in corruption scandals, was spreading lies against the BJP and the prime minister who has been discharging his duty with complete honesty, he said.
Rahul Gandhi and his party should apologise, he demanded, saying that such a smear campaign against a prime minister was never seen earlier. The Congress will pay for this in Lok Sabha elections, he said, seeking Rahul Gandhi's resignation as Congress chief. Gandhi had raised the issue of alleged irregularities in Rafale deal throughout his poll campaign in Chhattisgarh.
When asked if the issue had any impact in the elections, Singh said, "There has been no assessment of its impact so far. But such issues which are based on lies should not be raised by the president of a leading party."
Asked about the Congress' promise of loan waiver to farmers, Singh said he will speak about it after ten days. The Gandhi-led party had promised to waive loans of farmers within ten days of coming to power.