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Congress finds new leader in Chhattisgarh CM

THE ASIAN AGE. | NITIN MAHAJAN
Published : Oct 13, 2019, 12:11 am IST
Updated : Oct 13, 2019, 1:53 am IST

Under Baghel, Chhattisgarh became the first Congress ruled state to bar operations of Central Bureau of Investigation from the state.

Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel
 Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel

Raipur: Within  a short span of taking over as Chhattisgarh chief minister, Bhupesh Baghel, has seemingly emerged as the tallest state leader in the Congress, clearly overshadowing his senior Congress counterparts in other states.

Sources in the party stated that the Congress, which has been seeing a dearth of leaders ever since its trouncing in the Lok Sabha polls, may have found a new leader in Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel.

While other Congress chief ministers like Ashok Gehlot in Rajasthan, Kamal Nath in Madhya Pradesh and Captain Amrinder Singh in Punjab are having their share of troubles with dissidence in state or issues with the party high command.

However, within a period of a few months, Baghel has been able to establish himself as the undisputed leader in Chhattisgarh, who also seemingly enjoys the confidence of the party top leadership.

The Chhattisgarh chief minister is also seemingly not shy of taking on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party at the centre or its ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, and has made several statements against them over the past few months.

Under Baghel, Chhatti-sgarh became the first Congress ruled state to bar operations of Central Bureau of Investigation from the state.

Baghel, who had stormed to power in the state last year after dislodging the 15-year-old Dr Raman Singh government,  is seen to be positioning himself as the new strongman of the party.

The Congress had booted out Dr Raman Singh’s 15-year BJP government and stormed to victory with 68 seats in the 90 member state Assembly late last year.

However, the electoral fortunes were reversed in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections where the Congress was only able to secure two of the 11 seats with nine being taken by the BJP candidates.

However, over the past few months Baghel, a grassroots level OBC leader from the state, has been able to fully consolidate his position in Chhattisgarh Congress, completely overshadowing other state leaders like Tamradhwaj Sahu, TS Singhdeo and Ravindra Chaubey. And the Chief Minister hasn’t just confined the onslaught within his party, sources pointed out that the opposition ranks too have been facing a severe onslaught by him.

The legal troubles of Amit Jogi, son of former chief minister and party mate Ajit Jogi, mounted ever since the advent of Congress government. A similar situation may also be at hand as legal proceedings have been initiated against family members of former chief minister Dr Raman Singh.

The tough posturing against opposition is also being seen as an attempt by Baghel to show his political acumen and prowess to the Congress high command, further strengthening his position.

Another bold move that Baghel initiated was the increase of reservation for OBCs and SC ST communities in government jobs and educational institutions, making it the state with the highest implemented reservation.

Tags: bhupesh baghel