Suspense continues on the possibility of change of leadership in Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh, after more than a dozen Congress MLAs reached Delhi on Wednesday, once again political heat seems to be rising in the state. The political corridor in the state is buzzing with speculations that the MLAs have gone to show their support to Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel. However, the legislators who reached the national capital said that their visit is linked to the proposed visit of former Congress president Rahul Gandhi to the state.
“Around 15-16 party MLAs have reached Delhi and are staying at different places. Rahul ji’s visit to Chhattisgarh is proposed. We wanted to request Rahul ji through our state in-charge PL Punia ji to take a little more The party MLA from Ramanujganj seat of the state Brihaspat Singh said that the duration of his tour so that all the MLAs can get the benefit of it.
He told PTI over phone from Delhi, “We have come to Delhi only to make this request and we will talk to Punia sir in this regard on Thursday. Our journey should not be seen in any other way.
Asked whether the purpose of his visit was to express support to Baghel, Singh said, “Our party has 70 MLAs (in the 90-member state assembly), out of which 60 MLAs told everything to Punia ji last time. When there is blessings of high command, support of MLAs and Chief Minister is doing good work, then no such issue (of change of leadership) exists.”
He also denied the alleged tussle between Baghel and state health minister TS Singh Deo and said that the two leaders recently shared dais and exchanged sweets. He also said that they respect each other.
Without naming anyone, he said, “The situation in Chhattisgarh is not like Punjab. The high command of any party will not put the entire government at stake just to please one leader.”
Singh, who is considered close to Baghel, was embroiled in a controversy in July this year when he alleged that Singh Dev threatened his life. However, the MLA, who hails from Sarguja, Singh Deo’s home constituency, later withdrew his claim.
The demand for a change of guard raised its head after Baghel completed two and a half years as chief minister in June 2021. The Singh Deo camp claimed that in 2018 the high command had agreed to hand over the post to him after the government had completed its half. Period.
State Congress in-charge PL Punia has repeatedly denied that there was any such agreement when the BJP came to power in 2018 by overthrowing it.
The Congress high command called both Baghel and Singh Deo to Delhi in August to resolve the dispute. Baghel seemed to have won the round when he told reporters on his return that party leader Rahul Gandhi had agreed to visit the state ‘at his invitation’, and those who were talking of rotating the post of CM They were promoting political instability.
When Baghel was in the national capital, 54 out of 70 Congress MLAs had visited Delhi separately. Though both Baghel and Singh Deo have since refrained from saying anything on the leadership issue, the feud has not subsided.