Chhattisgarh CM to Delhi; Congressional factionalism in the state the talking point

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel reached the nation’s capital on Saturday and is expected to raise with the Congress leadership the issue of his differences with Minister of State TS Singh Deo. They said Singh Deo is also likely to be in the nation’s capital as he is the Gujarat assembly poll watcher along with chief poll watcher Ashok Gehlot. Baghel is in Delhi to attend the Congress strategy meeting ahead of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections. He is the chief observer for the Assembly polls in Himachal Pradesh due later this year, where Congress is seeking to replace the ruling BJP.

On July 16, Singh Deo, who is locked in a turf war with Baghel, resigned as panchayat and rural development minister, hinting that he was sidelined from the state government. The development sparked a new row in the ruling party. Singh Deo, however, remains the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Medical Education, Twenty Point Implementation and Trade Tax (TPS) departments.

The sudden development, which took place more than a year before the National Assembly elections, is seen as the bitter fallout from an old political rivalry between Baghel and Singh Deo, who was seeking the post of chief minister in the part of a so-called power-sharing agreement.

In a four-page letter of resignation addressed to the Chief Minister, Singh Deo cited various reasons and claimed that he was unable to meet the targets set for the Department of Rural Development as per the Jan Ghoshna Patra (manifesto of the survey), given the “current scenario”. .

In June last year, differences between Baghel and Singh Deo erupted shortly after the former completed half his term in office. A new point of contention between the Chief Minister and Singh Deo appears to be the coal mine projects in Hasdeo Arand forest area in Surguja district. On Thursday, Baghel handed over the panchayat and rural development portfolio to Minister Ravindra Choubey.

Jessica C. Bell