Chhattisgarh Congress crisis: Bhupesh Bhaghel, TS Singh Deo arrive Rahul Gandhi's residence in Delhi
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Bhagel and Health Minister TS Singh Deo arrived at the residence of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in the national capital on Tuesday amid the ongoing tussle between the two leaders over the change of leadership in the state.
Chhattisgarh Congress in charge PL Punia will also be present at the meeting today.
The Baghel government has 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 TS Singh Deo kept claiming that he was promised to be the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh in the last two and a half years of the regime of the present government.
The meeting of Baghel and Deo with Rahul Gandhi will end the suspense about whether there will be a change of leadership in the state or not.
Earlier in the last month, senior tribal MLA Brihaspati Singh alleged that Deo orchestrated an attack on him which sparked controversy. Deo had walked out of the state Assembly and said he will not be part of the session of the House until the government orders an inquiry into the allegations against him.
Later AICC in charge of Chattisgarh PL Punia held several meetings to resolve the situation and consequently, MLA Brihaspati Singh backtracked from his statements. But PL Punia failed to persuade TS Singh Deo, who has been upset for not probing Brihaspati for levelling allegations against him.
According to sources, TS Singh Deo has conveyed a message to the party high command in Delhi that he cannot wait for more than two months and if the promise of a change of guard is not kept, he can resign from all the posts. Meanwhile, Baghel has rejected the talk of rotating CM after two and a half years. It is clear that he is not in the mood to leave the chair. However, after meeting Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi a few weeks ago, it was definitely told Baghel that he will have to do what the high command decides. Now the matter has come to Rahul Gandhi.
Bhupesh Baghel has maintained good relations and image in front of the party's high command, while Deo has also being asked to handle party affairs at the national level on many occasions.
Recently, Singh Deo was sent to Tripura as a senior observer of AICC to take stock of the political developments in the state. Since December 2018, Baghel has grabbed everyone's attention with his work. Baghel's identity has been made as a struggling OBC leader and he is among the youth leaders of Congress. TS Singh Deo is a senior leader and belongs to a royal family but his image is that of a good honest leader. The alleged "promise" of being made CM for two and a half years also goes in his favour. For this reason, there is talk of a change of guard.
It will be interesting to see how Rahul Gandhi will try to end the rift between TS Singh Deo and Bhupesh Baghel. Amidst all this, it is a matter of relief for the Congress that despite this tussle over the chief minister's chair, there is no threat to its government in Chhattisgarh as it has 70 MLAs in the 90-member assembly. 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 unilateral victory was due to their leaders.
Also Read: Tug of war in Chhattisgarh Congress: Crisis deepens; CM Bhupesh Baghel, TS Singh Deo to meet Rahul Gandhi