Is split wide open in Chhattisgarh Congress?

CM, Minister to meet Rahul on Tuesday amid talks of a power tussle

August 23, 2021 08:23 pm | Updated November 22, 2021 09:42 pm IST - New Delhi

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel. File

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel. File

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Singh Baghel and Health Minister T.S. Singh Deo are scheduled to meet former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday amid reports of an ongoing tussle between them.


All India Congress Committee (AICC) in charge of Chhattisgarh P L Punia would be present in the meeting, a source said on Monday.

After Punjab’s Amarinder Singh versus Navjot Sidhu spat and Rajasthan’s Ashok Gehlot versus Sachin Pilot, the rift in Chhattisgarh too is wide open.


Mr. Deo is reported to be upset with the leadership for not ‘honouring’ a power-sharing formula by rotating the Chief Minister’s post after two and half years as Mr. Baghel completed that period in mid-June this year.

For the past few weeks, the Minister is also upset after party colleague Brahaspat Singh, a tribal lawmaker, alleged that Mr. Deo had ‘orchestrated’ an assault on the MLA’s convoy while it was travelling to Sarguja district.

Since Mr. Singh had made the allegation when the Assembly session was on, the BJP-led Opposition wanted answers from the government on the floor of the House.

Statement in House

The Minister wanted Home Minister Tamradhwaj Sahu to clear his name in the Assembly. However, when Mr. Sahu’s statement in the House failed to clear Mr. Deo’s name, the Health Minister walked out in protest.

The incident only added to the speculation that Mr. Deo has been upset with the party leadership over ignoring his claim to the top post.

However, party leaders, including Mr. Punia, denied that there was an agreement in December 2018 – when the Congress formed the government – that the party would rotate the top post between Mr. Baghel and Mr. Deo.

In mid-July, Mr. Baghel was asked about the power-sharing formula when he visited Delhi.

“The high command instructed me to take the oath [as Chief Minister], so I took the oath. When they say someone else will be the chief minister, then it will be so,”he said said, adding, “Such agreements happen in a coalition government but the Congress has three-fourth majority in Chhattishargh”.

However, playing down the talk of a rivalry, AICC leaders said the meeting between Chhattisgarh leaders and Mr. Gandhi was fixed ‘sometime ago’ to review the work of the State government.

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