The ongoing tussle within the party in various states itself has been one of the main reasons behind the failure of Congress. The infights in Punjab and Rajasthan Congress are leading the party to massive disruption. Adding to the row, Chhattisgarh Congress has now become a hot topic of discussion these days for the tussle between Health Minister T S Singh Deo and CM Bhupesh Baghel. A fresh crisis has erupted in the party’s state government and factionalism has reached an extent where physical attacks are occurring.
Upset over fellow Congress MLA Brihaspat Singh’s attack allegation, Deo walked out of the Chhattisgarh Vidhan Sabha proceedings on Tuesday. He said, “I don’t find myself worthy to be part of the sessions of this august house until the Govt orders an enquiry or releases a statement (over allegations of staging an attack on party MLA Brihaspat Singh)”, ANI tweeted.
MLA Brihaspat had claimed that the health minister tried to have him killed. Miffed by the allegation, Deo demanded a “clear statement” from the Baghel-led government and walked out of the assembly.
In 2.5 years, the (Chhattisgarh) government has completely shattered. When a minister has lost all hope with the govt, why would 2.7 crore people of the state trust it?: Former Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh on State Health Minister TS Singh Deo walking out of House pic.twitter.com/0QkbAo42p0
— ANI (@ANI) July 27, 2021
Slamming the State Government and commenting on Deo walking out of the house, Former Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh said, “In 2.5 years, the (Chhattisgarh) government has completely shattered. When a minister has lost all hope with the govt, why should 2.7 crore people of the state trust it?
Brihaspat Singh, who belongs to the tribal community, is the Congress MLA from Ramanujganj constituency in Chhattisgarh’s Balrampur district. T S Singh Deo is the titular ruler of Sarguja, under which this constituency falls in.
On July 24, Singh’s convoy was attacked by alleged Congress workers. The cause of the incident was that the MLA’s convoy overtook the vehicle of some youth following which they intercepted the escort car, smashed its windshield and got into a scuffle with the Singh’s security personnel. Brihaspat Singh claimed that the attack was orchestrated by Deo. An FIR has been lodged under various sections of the IPC and the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, naming Sachin Singh Deo, who is a relative of the health minister, and others as the accused.
During the press conference in Raipur, Singh said, “It is all because of my favourable statements towards the Chief Minister. People related to Singh Deo attacked my men. Had I been in the car, I would have been attacked too. There is a threat to my life.”
Deo and Baghel have a long-running rivalry in the state. As a consequence, Chhattisgarh Congress has divided into two factions and the bone of contention between the two is the post of Chief Minister. Earlier this month, as reported by TFI, there were speculations that Baghel could be replaced by TS Singh Deo. When Congress came to power in Chhattisgarh in December 2018, both of the leaders were in running to become the CM of Chhattisgarh. The party made an agreement for the rotational leadership with the initial two and a half years for Baghel and the rest for Deo. But, Baghel seemed unwilling to vacate the chair and the Gandhis wanted to deploy him in Uttar Pradesh and install Deo as the incumbent CM of Chhattisgarh.
A party leader claimed, the friction between Baghel and Deo increased during the Covid pandemic. He further said, “As health minister, Deo was responsible for the day-to-day management of Covid-related medical arrangements and he did an exceptional job. From increasing the patient admission capacity of Covid-dedicated hospitals to ensuring the availability of oxygen cylinders and life-saving drugs, Deo was working round-the-clock. However, Baghel walked away with the credit for every good initiative while any failure was stacked up at Deo’s doorstep.”
Singh is assumed to be a firm supporter of Baghel. Earlier this month, Singh had rubbished claims of a change in leadership in the state and appreciating Baghel’s work, Singh had said that he would remain the CM for the next 25 years. Miffed by the statement, Deo’s patience was running thin and resulted in the attack on Singh’s convoy.
Well, the party is shooting itself into the foot and is heading towards its own failure. The opposition needs to keep a check on all these tussles and try to resolve them as soon as possible. Otherwise, the future of the Congress party will be darker than that of now and ultimately BJP will benefit from the government in Chhattisgarh and in the end topple it.