Mohan Markam was appointed as Chhattisgarh Congress president on Friday, succeeding Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel. The Kondagaon MLA’s elevation to the post was approved by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.
With his appointment, Markam has become the first tribal leader to head the party unit in the state. He has a massive task facing him as the Congress suffered a debacle in the recently-held Lok Sabha elections, in which it managed to win only two seats despite storming to power with a massive mandate in the December assembly polls.
Last week, Baghel had said he had asked Gandhi to appoint someone to head the state unit as he has his hands full as the Chief Minister. Markam, along with another tribal leader Manoj Mandavi, then travelled to Delhi and met the Congress president.
The post for the state party president was a close contest between Markam and another tribal leader Amarjeet Bhagat, who is a multi-term MLA from Sitapur in north Chhattisgarh.
Sources, however, said that after Markam’s election as the state party president, Bhagat might be given the position of minister in the state Assembly.
Prior to Markam, Mahendra Karma was one Adivasi leader who was the Leader of Opposition for the Congress.
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