Bhupesh Baghel Meets Rahul, Says State Govt Safe

Claiming that his government is “safe” in Chhattisgarh, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Friday said Rahul Gandhi has “gladly” accepted his invitation to visit the state and inspect various projects undertaken by his government.

Baghel met with Rahul Gandhi, for the second time this week. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was also present at today’s meet up. This came amid reports of a power tussle in the ruling Congress in Chattisgarh with political rival and minister in his government TS Singh Deo reportedly seeking the CM’s post citing a power-sharing agreement after the party came to power in the 2018 assembly elections.

Addressing media persons after meeting with the Gandhis, Bhaghel said, “I told him everything. There were political as well state administrative discussions. In the end, I requested Rahul Gandhi to visit Chhattisgarh. He gladly accepted the invitation, he will be there next week.”

The Chhattisgarh Chief Minister informed that Rahul Gandhi will first visit Bastar and inspect the various projects and works there.

When asked about the 2.5 years formula regarding the rotational chief ministership in the state, Baghael said, “PL Punia has already clarified this, I don’t need to say anything further. I have told my leader whatever I wanted to.”

Baghel had brought about 50 Congress MLAs to Delhi in a show of strength. Prior to his meeting with the Gandhis, Baghel had asserted, “The Congress government in Chhattisgarh is safe with the three-fourth majority, we have 70 MLAs.”

Later in the day, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister also met Congress MLAs from his state who had gathered at the party’s headquarters in Delhi. The Congress MLAs met with Chhattisgarh Congress in-charge PL Punia at the latter’s residence late last night.

Meanwhile, Singh Deo who is also in Delhi had also met with Rahul Gandhi on Thursday. When asked by reporters at Chhattisgarh Sadan in the national capital, whether he would also be meeting with the party leadership again today, the state health minister said he has “not been given any time.” Both Baghel and Singh Deo had met AICC general secretary K C Venugopal on Wednesday.

On Thursday Singh Deo had told ANI in Delhi: “If a person plays in a team then doesn’t he think about becoming the captain? Won’t you want to become one?”

“Everyone thinks about that but the question is not about his thoughts, it’s about his capabilities. The High Command takes a decision,” the Chhattisgarh minister said.

Singh Deo also dismissed false reports about any existing pre-agreement on the sharing of the Chief Ministerial berth.

After the Baghel government completed two-and-a-half years in office in June the supporters of TS Singh Deo raised the issue of rotational chief ministership. Though Congress never talked about the two-and-a-half-year formula in Chhattisgarh, the supporters of Deo claim that this was promised.

Congress won the assembly polls held in December 2018 with a thumping majority. Then, the state Congress president Bhupesh Baghel was made the chief minister. TS Singh Deo was the head of the manifesto committee in the election. Supporters of both Baghel and TS have claimed that the party’s victory was due to their leaders. (ANI)

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