RAIPUR: Bhupesh Baghel has been named the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, ending the 5-day suspense over who will bag the top post in the state. The decision was announced at the meeting of the Congress Legislature Party on Sunday. Apart from Baghel, TS Singh Deo, Tamradhwaj Sahu and Charan Das Mahant were the top contenders for the post.
The Congress on Twitter wrote that new government in the state would work on equality, transparency and integrity and its first task would be to declare a loan waiver for farmers of the state. "Celebrations are in order in Chhattisgarh as Bhupesh Baghel is appointed CM. We wish him the best as he forms a government of equality, transparency and integrity starting off with loan waiver for farmers as we promised," the party tweeted, along with a picture of Baghel.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi had on Saturday held various meetings and discussions with the four leaders at his residence in Delhi. Along with Congress central observer Mallikarjun Kharge and AICC in-charge for party affairs in Chhattisgarh P L Punia, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are also believed to have been a part of the meetings.
The Congress president later in the day tweeted a picture with all the four aspirants for the Chhattisgarh CM's post along with a quote by Reid Hoffman. "No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you're playing a solo game, you'll always lose out to a team. - Reid Hoffman," he tweeted.
Representing Patan Assembly constituency in Durg district, Baghel has been the President of Chhattisgarh Congress since October 2014. He is a former state minister and a former deputy leader of the Congress Legislature Party during the first tenure of BJP from 2003-2008. He has been indicted and was recently arrested by the CBI for allegedly distributing a "fake sleaze video" featuring a BJP state minister.
Baghel is currently out on bail. However, Baghel claimed that criminal cases filed against him were politically motivated. He took over as the PCC chief after the Congress lost to BJP in 2013 assembly elections.
Considering the loss that Congress had suffered in three consecutive elections in the state, Baghel had a huge task to revive the party in the state. Throughout the poll campaign, Baghel launched frontal attacks on the BJP regime and raised allegations of corruption. The party successfully ended the BJP's 15-year rule in Chhattisgarh in the recently concluded Assembly elections and won 68 of the 90 seats.