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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Bhupesh Baghel to meet Rahul Gandhi again; 26 MLAs reach Delhi

Friday’s meeting is set to be their second one this week.

Written by Gargi Verma , Manoj C G | New Delhi, Raipur |
Updated: August 27, 2021 7:29:36 am
Bhupesh Bhagel, chhattisgarh cm, rahul gandhi, aicc, kc venugopal, Delhi, Indian express, indian express newsChhattisgarh Chief Minister, Bhupesh Baghel. (File)

The crisis in Chhattisgarh Congress intensified Thursday, as several party MLAs owing allegiance to Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel reached Delhi a day before his expected meeting with former party president Rahul Gandhi.

Friday’s meeting is set to be their second one this week.

While sources said the high command has summoned Baghel, AICC’s Chhattisgarh in-charge, P L Punia, said the Chief Minister sought a meeting with Rahul. But the arrival of at least 26 MLAs, some ministers and MPs is seen as a show of strength by Baghel, locked in a leadership tussle with state Health Minister T S Singh Deo.

Sources said the issue of rotational CM is still open, and the high command wants an amicable settlement. The arrival of so many party MLAs signal that Baghel is mounting pressure on the central leadership. The move is seen as an attempt to send a message that he has majority in the legislature party.

Baghel and Singh Deo had met Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday but the issue of rotational CM was far from resolved. Today, 26 MLAs, including three ministers, flew to Delhi. Punia said the MLAs have moved to Delhi on their own and claimed no one had been called to Delhi by the leadership.

Ministers Shiv Daharia, Amarjeet Bhagat and Anila Bhedia, along with party MP Chaya Verma and more than two dozen MLAs, left for Delhi.

Sources said a chartered plane had been brought to Raipur airport for the MLAs.

State Congress chief Mohan Markam said in a statement that the party is united and there is no change in the stand of the party.

On Tuesday, Singh Deo and Baghel met Rahul and AICC general secretary K C Venugopal. Amidst rumors of changes, Baghel denied any discussion on change of guard.

Back in Raipur on Wednesday, Baghel held back-to-back meetings with MLAs.

While boarding the flight to Delhi on Thursday, Devendra Yadav, Congress MLA from Bhilai city, said all the legislators were going to Delhi to speak with the leadership on the situation in the state. “The government is working under Bhupesh Baghel’s leadership,” he said.

Singh Deo told the media that there was never a question of rotational CM. “If a person plays in a team then doesn’t he think about becoming the captain? Everyone thinks about that but the question is not about his thoughts, it’s about his capabilities. The high command takes the decision,” he said.

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