Raipur: Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel took oath as the chief minister of Chhattisgarh on Monday evening.
Baghel administered oath of office by Governor Anandiben Patel at the ceremony held at an indoor stadium in Raipur.
T S Singh Deo and Tamradhwaj Sahu, who were once the front-runners for the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister’s post, were sworn in as ministers.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi was also present at Bhagel’s swearing-in ceremony.
Bhupesh Baghel has proved himself a daring and courageous fighter by steering Congress to a landslide victory in Chhattisgarh braving all odds and adverse situations.
57-year-old Baghel took over the reign of the party in Chhattisgarh in January, 2013 when morale of the Congress cadres was at its lowest ebb following twin-tragedy it faced in form of massacre of 27 leaders of party being massacred in a Naxal ambush in Jheeram Ghati in Bastar district in the state barely six months ago and third successive defeat of the party in the assembly elections a month back.
The never-say-die Baghel, a post-graduate from Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University in Raipur, faced the challenges head-on after giving a war cry against his ex-party colleague Ajit Jogi and former chief minister and BJP strongman Raman Singh, who Congress had identified as bottlenecks in its return to power in the state.
Baghel was perhaps the only Congress leader who dared to take on Jogi, considered as the most powerful leader in the party in Chhattisgarh then because of his purported proximity to the party high command, and later ensured exit of Jogi and the latter’s son Amit from the party. He ruthlessly curbed infighting in the party by showing supporters of Jogi the door.
Jogi later founded Janata Congress Chhattisgarh after breaking away from Congress in 2016 following Baghel’s aggressive and courageous leadership.
He braved all kinds of threats while pressing for a CBI probe into the 2013 massacre of 27 Congress leaders in Jheeram Ghati by Naxals in Bastr district in Chhattisgarh as he suspected a political conspiracy in the gruesome incident.
Baghel had hit the streets from the word go to expose various omissions and commissions in the Raman Singh government in the last five years which triggered a strong anti-incumbency leading Congress to sweep the recently held assembly polls in the state.
Baghel had to spend a couple of days in jail in Raipur after CBI charge-sheeted him in an alleged fake sex-CD case involving a minister in the Raman Singh government.
Congress stormed to power in Chhattisgarh by securing 68 out of total 90 seats, forcing BJP to contend with only 15 seats.