Bhupesh Baghel was appointed as the chief minister of Chhattisgarh on Sunday after lengthy deliberations between Congress president Rahul Gandhi and leaders from the state. An MLA from Patan, Baghel is also the state chief of the Congress party and is credited for bringing the party back to power after 15 years in oblivion. The Congress won 68 out of 90 assembly seats in Chhattisgarh to dethrone former BJP CM Raman Singh.
Born in a farmer’s family in 1961, Baghel began his political career by joining the Indian Youth Congress in 1986. He was made its president in 1990. In 1993, he was elected as the MLA of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly from Patan. He retained his seat in the next election too.
After the creation of Chhattisgarh in 2000, Baghel managed to retain his seat during the 2003 elections. He served as Deputy Leader of Opposition in Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly from 2003 to 2008.
A patron of Chhattisgarh Manva Kurmi Chhatriya Samaj since 1993, Baghel’s name has been embroiled in controversies. He was accused of circulating a ‘fake’ sex CD of a state minister. He was also sent jail for 14 days by a CBI court. Baghel had, however, rejected all the charges. He had even refused to appoint a lawyer to defend himself.
“I am innocent. The government is implicating me after black flag demonstration. People will reply to this case,” Baghel had said, refusing the charges against him.