The Congress Sunday announced Bhupesh Baghel as the chief minister of Chhattisgarh in a legislative meeting of the party in Raipur. Party leaders, including, Mallikarjun Kharge, PL Punia, TS Singhdeo, were present for the meeting. The announcement comes a day after Congress chief Rahul Gandhi held several rounds of meetings with top party leaders in Chhattisgarh.
In the third round of discussions, Rahul Gandhi Saturday met the four contenders for the top post — T S Singh Deo, Tamradhwaj Sahu, Bhupesh Baghel and Charan Das Mahant — at his Tughlaq Lane residence in the national capital. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, daughter Priyanka, Congress’ central observer Mallikarjun Kharge and AICC in-charge for party affairs in the state P L Punia were also present at the meeting.
The Congress comfortably secured a majority in the Chhattisgarh Assembly after winning 68 seats in the 90-member House. The BJP saw a major dent in its vote bank, winning just 15 seats in the Assembly.
Congress appoints Bhupesh Baghel as Chhattisgarh CM. Follow LIVE UPDATES below.
Naxalism is a serious problem, nobody can solve it instantly: Bhupesh Baghel
On the issue of Naxalism plaguing Chhattisgarh, Baghel said, "The problem of Naxalism is a very serious problem. Nobody can solve it instantly. They have a very strong hold. We will be successful in eliminating them if firm steps are taken with the support of the people in the Naxal-affected areas."
Decision on deputy CM and state Cabinet will take place after my oath taking ceremony: Bhupesh Baghel
"Decision for the appointment of deputy CM and state Cabinet will be taken after I take oath tomorrow. Many national leaders, including Rahul Gandhi and CM of several states are expected to be present for the oath-taking ceremony," said Chhattisgarh CM-designate Bhupesh Baghel to ANI.
Congress promises to declare loan waiver for farmers
The Congress top leadership had an intense discussion over the past three days before deciding on Baghel as the chief minister. The OBC leader steered the party to a stupendous victory with a two-thirds majority in Chhattisgarh. The grand old party announced that the new government in the state would work on equality, transparency and integrity and its first task would be to declare a loan waiver for farmers of the state. (PTI)
Chhattisgarh CM-designate Bhupesh Bhagel will be sworn in tomorrow
"Oath-taking ceremony will be held in Raipur tomorrow for only the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister. Decision on rest of the cabinet will be taken later," said Mallikarjun Kharge All India Congress Committee's observer for Chhattisgarh.
Bhupesh Bhagel appointed Chhattisgarh CM
Who is Bhupesh Baghel?
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. Read More
Bhupesh Baghel announced as CM: sources
The party wil make the official announcement of the name to media shortly.
Sources among MLAs present in the meeting on Rajiv Bhavan second floor says Bhupesh Baghel has been announced as CM. Official announcement to the media soon @IndianExpress— Dipankar Ghose (@dipankarghose31) December 16, 2018
Chhattisgarh: Congress Legislative Party meet begins
The Congress Legislative Party meet begins with the senior leaders in presence. The official announcement of Chief Minister will be made in front of the media soon.
Congress leaders arrive in Raipur
Bhupesh Baghel, set to be Chief Minister arrived in Raipur in the morning. Has now gone to the airport to receive Punia, Kharge and Singhdeo who are arriving by private charter. Meeting of MLAs will be held and name then officially declared @IndianExpress— Dipankar Ghose (@dipankarghose31) December 16, 2018
Name for the CM post will be announced after the meet: TS Singh Deo
T S Singh Deo on being asked if he'll be announced as #Chhattisgarh Chief Minister: Aap Chhattisgarh ki government mein Chhattisgarh ke liye kaam karne wale ek saathi se baat kar rahe hain. 12:30 baje vidhayak dal ki baithak hai, tab CM ka naam announce ho jayega. pic.twitter.com/PVc3VuHrun— ANI (@ANI) December 16, 2018
Bhupesh Baghel arrives in Raipur for CLP meet
Congress Legislature Party meeting at 12.30pm
AICC general secretary in charge of Chhattisgarh P L Punia told The Sunday Express that the party would announce its decision at a meeting of the CLP in Raipur. “You will get to know tomorrow… A meeting of CLP will take place at 12.30 pm,” he said.
Rotational chief minister arrangement for Chhattisgarh
According to sources, the party leadership initially leaned towards Durg MP and CWC member Sahu, but faced stiff resistance from state Congress chief Baghel and former CLP leader Singhdeo.
The strong opposition forced the party to return to the drawing board and, if sources are to be believed, came up with a rotational chief minister arrangement between Baghel and Singhdeo. Sahu, one of the leaders claimed, walked out of one of the meetings in a huff.
Four-man race on in Chhattisgarh
Congress, Sunday, will hold a legislature meet in Raipur. The new chief minister of the state is likely to be announced then. Four contenders for the top post — T S Singh Deo, Tamradhwaj Sahu, Bhupesh Baghel and Charan Das Mahant — had met chief Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Saturday.
Rahul Gandhi hints at resolving tussle, decision likely tomorrow
Speculations and deliberations continued within the Chhattisgarh Congress today as the party high command postponed the announcement on the chief minister. The decision is likely to be taken on Sunday. Despite holding three rounds of discussion, the party will take the final call on the top post after holding another round of talks with the legislatures tomorrow. Read full story here.
Congress workers express concerns over 2.5-year formula
Indications now that under the 2.5 year formula each between him and Singhdeo, Bhupesh Baghel will be sworn in first as CM, sources said. Many congress workers in Raipur worry about this arrangement being "clumsy" and a "waste of the mandate" @IndianExpress— Dipankar Ghose (@dipankarghose31) December 15, 2018
Preparations underway in Congress office
Preparations at Raipur office ahead of the announcement tomorrow. (Express photo/Praveen Khanna)
Legislators' to meet tomorrow
According to sources, discussions are underway on whether Baghel and Deo can lead the CM's post for two-and-a-half-years each. The Congress leaders have returned to Sonia's residence; a meeting of the legislators will be held tomorrow.
Sources saying how a half and half split of five years being discussed between Bhupesh Baghel and TS Singhdeo. Leaders have gone back to Sonia Gandhis residence. Tomorrow there will be a meeting of legislators @IndianExpress— Dipankar Ghose (@dipankarghose31) December 15, 2018
CM decision likely to be taken tomorrow: Sources
Race against CM continues in Chhattisgarh
According to sources, Sahu was nearly chosen as the CM. However, others were not convinced and returned Rahul Gandhi's residence.
Sources saying that Tamradhwaj Sahu was nearly set as CG CM. But others may not be convinced and they all have returned to Rahul Gandhis residence. For those waiting with bated breath, seems never ending @IndianExpress— Dipankar Ghose (@dipankarghose31) December 15, 2018
Local leaders rally around Deo and Baghel in Chhattisgarh
Chhattisgarh: Congress workers and leaders gather outside T S Singh Deo's residence in Raipur. Chief Minister to be announced later today. pic.twitter.com/liQNwrJlzk— ANI (@ANI) December 15, 2018
Chhattisgarh: Congress workers and leaders also gather outside Chhattisgarh PCC President Bhupesh Baghel's residence in Raipur. Chief Minister to be announced later today. pic.twitter.com/Pc3Nn3cD9j— ANI (@ANI) December 15, 2018
Meeting over, still no clarity
The meeting between Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and the senior Congress leaders has ended. However, there is no clarity on the final name for the post of CM. The leaders are now scheduled to fly to Raipur where a decision is likely to be announced.
Even as no clarity on CM decision despite meeting being finished at Rahul Gandhis house in Delhi, at TS Singhdeo residence in Raipur MLAs arriving to back him @IndianExpress— Dipankar Ghose (@dipankarghose31) December 15, 2018
In Pics | Gathering of locals and MLAs outside residence of CM designate Ashok Gehlot
(Express Photos by Renuka Puri and Praveen Khanna)
Expectations high for announcement of CM name today
The expectations are high for an announcement for CM post as the names of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh CMs were also announced by Congress in a similar fashion, wherein, the contenders met Rahul Gandhi held discussions before a formal announcement.
Kharge, Punia reach Rahul Gandhi,s residence
The observer for Chhattisgarh Mallikarjun Kharge and Congress Chhattisgarh In-Charge PL Punia have reached Rahul Gandhi's residence. The final name for CM post is expected to be announced today.
TS Singh Deo to BJP on CM race
TS Singh Deo says we have more than 1 eligible name that is why the process is taking time, in any case, final result came late on 11th so it has just been 4 days today. BJP which took more than 7-8 days to appoint its recent CMs should not comment on us.
TS Singh Deo,Congress: We have more than 1 eligible name that is why process is taking time, in any case final result came late on 11th so it has just been 4 days today. BJP which took more than 7-8 days to appoint its recent CMs should not comment on us #Chhattisgarh pic.twitter.com/dW6nNTic7E— ANI (@ANI) December 15, 2018
Who is Tamradhwaj Sahu?
Plus: He is seen as a dark horse. Many in the party believe he has the potential to inflict maximum damage on the BJP during the Lok Sabha elections. He comes from the Sahu (OBC) community, and was recently inducted into the Congress Working Committee and also made the head of the OBC department. He is the only Congress leader in Chhattisgarh who was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2014.
Minus: He has never leveraged his caste to expand his clout. He is not seen as aggressive. While Baghel and Singh Deo served as state Congress president and Leader of the Opposition respectively, Sahu’s support among MLAs appears limited.
Who is Bhupesh Baghel?
Plus: Combative and aggressive, he has led the party after almost the entire Congress leadership was killed in a Maoist attack in 2013. He took on the entrenched Ajit Jogi, which finally resulted in Jogi’s exit. Elevating him could send a signal to his influential Kurmi community and other backward groups ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
Minus: He has faced controversies. Some leaders claim he is not accommodative. Rivals say that he has the ability to hobble the Congress if denied the CM’s chair.
Who is T S Singh Deo?
Plus: Suave and soft-spoken, he belongs to the royal family of Surguja. Many see in him a potentially good administrator who understands the complexities of governance. The architect of the Janghoshna Patra campaign, he put together the party’s manifesto after meeting people from the ground across the state.
Minus: His lineage may given the Opposition a handle to hurl charges. He is one of the richest MLAs in a poor state.
Who are the top contenders?
Bhupesh Baghel, T S Singh Deo, Tamradhwaj Sahu, and Charan Das Mahant are the top four contenders for the post of the chief minister in the state. All these leaders hold their own vote base and popularity among various pockets of Chhattisgarh and have helped to shape the party in the last 15 years.
Congress comfortably secured majority in Chhattisgarh assembly
Congress secured a majority on its own in the recently concluded assembly elections. The party won 68 seats in the 90-member assembly comfortably crossing the halfway mark of 45. Meanwhile, BJP saw a major dent in its vote bank shrinking to just 15 seats in the assembly.
Congress CLP leaders to meet at 10 am
The newly-elected MLAs are expected to meet in Raipur at 10 am ahead of the official announcement. The top four contenders had met Congress President Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Friday. Gandhi held a meeting with the party's central observer for Chhattisgarh Mallikarjun Kharge. AICC in-charge of party affairs in Chhattisgarh P L Punia was also present in the meeting.
Meeting at 10 am in Delhi to decide Chhattisgarh CM. Those close to Bhupesh Baghel,PCC Chief,now seem most confident @IndianExpress— Dipankar Ghose (@dipankarghose31) December 15, 2018
Welcome to The Indian Express LIVE Blog
Good Morning, Welcome to The Indian Express LIVE Blog as the race for the chief minister of Chhattisgarh becomes tight, we track the developments through the day.