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Bhupesh Baghel named Chhattisgarh CM, to take oath today

THE ASIAN AGE. | RABINDRA NATH CHOUDHURY
Published : Dec 17, 2018, 12:40 am IST
Updated : Dec 17, 2018, 2:45 am IST

Baghel led a delegation of newly-elected Congress MLAs to Raj Bhavan here to submit the letter by the CLP electing him as its leader.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi with senior leaders of the party’s Chhattisgarh unit — former Union minister Charandas Mahant, Congress OBC cell chief Tamradhwaj Sahu, party leaders Bhupesh Baghel and T.S. Singh Deo — at his residence in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)
 Congress president Rahul Gandhi with senior leaders of the party’s Chhattisgarh unit — former Union minister Charandas Mahant, Congress OBC cell chief Tamradhwaj Sahu, party leaders Bhupesh Baghel and T.S. Singh Deo — at his residence in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)

Raipur: Chhattisgarh PCC president Bhupesh Baghel, who led the Congress to a landslide victory in the state, was named chief minister by the party on Sunday. The 68-member Congress Legislature Party (CLP), which met here in the afternoon, elected him its leader, paving the way for the 57-year-old OBC leader to become the third chief minister of Chhattisgarh.

Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who attended the CLP meet as AICC observer, announced his name as the new chief minister of the state. His appointment followed four-day-long hectic parleys and deliberations with party president Rahul Gandhi.

Later, Mr Baghel led a delegation of newly-elected Congress MLAs to Raj Bhavan here to submit the letter by the CLP electing him as its leader. He is due to be sworn in as chief minister by governor Anandiben Patel at the Science College ground here at 4.30 in the afternoon on Monday.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a host of senior Congress leaders, besides the heads of some regional parties, are expected to attend his oath-taking ceremony.

Later, talking to the reporters here, the chief minister-designate said he has set two things as the key priorities for his government — a fresh probe to unearth the political conspiracy in the massacre of frontline Congress leaders of Chhattisgarh by Naxals in Jheeram Ghati in Bastar district in May 2013, and the implementation of farm loan waivers as promised by his party.

Mr Baghel said a special investigation team (SIT) will be constituted to investigate the Jheeram Ghati massacre of 27 Congress leaders by the Maoists on May 25, 2013 to bring to light the role played by some politicians and police officers in the incident.

Mr Baghel said the decision to write off crop loans would be cleared at the very first meeting of his Cabinet, which would be convened within 10 days of government formation. Mr Gandhi had promised to waive farm loans within 10 days of the Congress coming to power in the state.

Tags: bhupesh baghel, mallikarjun kharge
Location: India, Chhatisgarh, Raipur