RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel, the man who led the team that inflicted the BJP’s worst defeat in tis set of assembly elections, will get the top job in the state, the Congress announced today. While the meet to take a call on the job was held today, a hint of which way the Congress chief is leaning came in his tweet yesterday, which had a photo Rahul Gandhi will all four state leaders, captioned with a quote from LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman that praised teamwork.
Compared to the two other states – Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh – where the Congress fell a shade short of target and had to take the help of Mayawati to reach majority, Chhattisgarh was a shock defeat for the party. Where the BJP was hoping for a fourth term for Raman Singh — one of its most popular Chief Ministers – the party could get only 15 of the state’s 90 seats, way behind 68 of the Congress.
Senior Congress leader TS Sing Deo, the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, had pointed out that no party with divisions in its ranks, can achieve such a victory.
Mr Singh Deo and Mr Baghel, two of the four contenders for the top job, had met Rahul Gandhi in Delhi on Saturday. The other two were Tamradhwaj Sahu, the party’s lone parliamentarian in the state, and senior leader Charan Das Mahant.
Mr Baghel and his counterparts in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh will take oath as chief ministers in three back-to-back ceremonies on Monday, seen as a mega show of opposition unity ahead of the national elections next year.
Mr Rahul Gandhi will attend all the events. Mr Baghel’s oath-taking ceremony has been planned for 4:30 pm on Monday, after that of Ashok Gehlot in Rajasthan and Kamal Nath in Madhya Pradesh.