Bhupesh Baghel likely to meet Congress high command in Delhi


Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel is likely to meet Congress high command in the next couple of days in Delhi to explain the political developments of the state after the resignation of minister TS Singh Deo, people familiar with the matter said on Saturday. “The CM will be reaching Delhi on Saturday evening. He has some other meetings and can also meet Congress high command to explain recent political developments in the state,” said a close functionary of Baghel.

The fresh political turmoil in the state started on July 16 when Singh Deo resigned from the Panchayat and Rural development department, one of the five portfolios held by him in the Bhupesh Baghel cabinet. However, he will continue as the minister for Health and Family Welfare, Medical Education, Twenty Point Implementation and Commercial Tax (GST) departments.

Singh Deo, locked in a turf war with Baghel, in his resignation letter to the chief minister claimed that not a single house was built for homeless people under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana as funds were not allotted despite “repeated requests”. In a four-page resignation letter addressed to the chief minister, Singh Deo cited various reasons saying that he was unable to fulfil the targets of the department as per the vision of the Jan Ghoshna Patra (poll manifesto), given the “current scenario”.

On Wednesday, the issue was raised by Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state Assembly and the House was adjourned for the day. The members of the assembly were demanding a statement from Baghel in the House over the resignation. The leaders of the BJP said there is a “constitutional crisis” since a minister (Singh Deo) himself expressed ‘no confidence’ in the government’s functioning.

On Thursday, Baghel handed over the charge of Panchayat and Rural Development department to senior minister Ravindra Chaubey. Meanwhile, Singh Deo is also reaching Delhi on Saturday and has sought time to meet the Congress high command.

“I have asked for time and will be meeting high command if I get time,” Singh Deo said.

The tussle between Baghel and Singh Deo started in June last year over a reported power sharing agreement after the chief minister completed his two-and-a-half years in the office.

In May, 2022, Baghel and Singh Deo again locked horns over the coal mine projects in the Hasdeo Arand forest area of the Surguja district.

In the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly, the Congress has 71 MLAs and BJP 14, while the Janata Congress-Chhattisgarh (JCC-J) and the Bahujan Samj Party (BSP) have three and two members, respectively.

(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)