Rahul likely to visit Chhattisgarh where a leadership tussle is on

Tight spot: CM Bhupesh Baghel and Congress leader P.L. Punia after meeting Rahul Gandhi in Delhi last month.   | Photo Credit: -

Amid the leadership tussle in Chhattisgarh, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi is likely to visit the Congress-ruled State by the end of September.

After the change of guard in Punjab, speculation has gained ground that Chhattisgarh is likely to be the next State that could see a leadership change.

It is not clear if the Congress high command will take a call on the leadership question before Mr. Gandhi’s visit but the issue is wide open.

The arrival of State Health Minister T.S. Singh Deo in Delhi on Monday and Home Minister Tamradhwaj Sahu meeting party general secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal on Tuesday has further fuelled talks of a possible change of leadership and Cabinet reshuffle.

Top party sources, however, claimed that talks about an impending reshuffle are not correct.

“The date or other issues of rotating chief ministership have not been finalised. Both the leaders have been told to keep quiet and not issue statements against each other. The high command will let them know when it takes a call on the issue,” said an All India Congress Committee (AICC) functionary.

According to a rotation formula agreed in December 2018 when Mr. Gandhi was the party president, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel was to handover his position to Mr. Deo by June 16 this year.

Though both the leaders have avoided making direct public statements, Mr. Baghel has been using various public events to show his strength and support among the MLAs.

On Tuesday, Mr. Baghel hosted a dinner for the tribal MLAs from the Bastar region, comprising seven districts, at the Chief Minister’s residence.

Last week, 36 Congress MLAs are said to have expressed their support by pledging to resign if the Chief Minister is changed.

“The central leaders have not yet decided but such antics won’t go down well,” said another AICC leader who is familiar with the Chhattisgarh situation.

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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 4:11:29 AM |

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