Amid the ongoing power tussle between CM Bhupesh Baghel with senior colleague T S Singh Deo, Baghel on Friday clarified that he has invited Rahul Gandhi to Chhattisgarh to witness the development under his leadership while further clarifying that he will continue as the CM of the state.
Likely, Rahul would probably undertake a three-day trip to Naxal affected backwards Bastar region in the coming days. The Naxal area had recently witnessed police firing on tribals and resulted in deaths which had resulted in criticism of the Baghel regime.
During the ongoing marathon deliberations with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Baghel was summoned for a meeting with Rahul just a day after he returned to Raipur. Following with another long discussion on Tuesday — which came in the wake of the claim made by state health Minister T S Singh Deo that he should be given the CM’s post since the leadership had promised him a split term, a rotational chief ministership after completing two-and-a-half years in the office. It was based on this promise that, Mr Singh Deo agreed to stand down in 2018 and settle for a ministry job, as Mr Baghel took over as Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh. Sources said the leadership issue was not “as big a matter”, as it was not official.
Raipur, Baghel suggested that the debate on rotational leadership created instability in the party and only allowed the opposition.
Mr Baghel put on notice and told reporters that he would abide by the party’s decision. He told reporters in Raipur: “I will step down when Sonia (Gandhi) and Rahul Ji order me. Those talking about a 2.5-year plan are trying to bring political instability but they will never succeed.”
On Friday afternoon, The CM landed in the Capital and headed straight into talks with Rahul, which included AICC state in-charge P L Punia and AICC general secretary, organisation, K.C Venugopal, besides Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. After around four hours, Baghel addressed the press and brushed aside a query about the split term. “This issue has already been clarified by Puniaji two days ago,“ he said, with AICC state in charge by his side. Punia Tuesday told reporters that leadership was not an issue in the meeting. With an air of confidence, when asked about who would be the CM, Baghel shot back, “I have invited Rahulji in my capacity as chief minister.“
As the CM prepared for what sounded like a deposition before the leadership, he was accompanied by around 57 Congress MLAs to Delhi to demonstrate his popularity and strength in an escalating leadership crisis in the state. After the discussions when doubts about his future had been dispelled, Baghel rushed to the AICC and met the MLAs along with Punia, while the legislators celebrated at the party headquarters. “It is all fine, we are going back now,” key Baghel backer Amarjeet Bhagat stated.
Congress government in Chhattisgarh is at the point where it is either make or break for them now. With Baghel continuing with his CM post, Deo is left with no option but to break away from the Congress and either go the Madhya Pradesh way or probably form his independent party, TS Singh Deo who holds a huge presence and popularity on the ground will take away his faction from the Government which will be a huge loss to the Congress party. The future of the Congress party looks darker than that of now, and ultimately the opposition will benefit from the government in Chhattisgarh and the end topple it.