Bhupesh Baghel has been announced as the new Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, days after lengthy deliberations between Congress president Rahul Gandhi and other state leaders.
Baghel will take oath on Monday while the rest of the state cabinet will be decided at a later date, Congress’ central observer Mallikarjun Kharge said. “It was a tough decision because all the four leaders worked equally for the party and they all are equal,” Kharge added.
Speaking about the challenges the Congress will have to first address, Kharge said: “”There are several challenges before us as we have come to power after 15 years in the state. We will fulfil our poll promises and we are confident that Baghel will discharge his responsibilities well.”
Hours after the declaration, Baghel who was visiting the Governor’s house in Raipur was quoted by ANI as saying that the decision on deputy chief minister and new state Cabinet will be taken after his swearing-in ceremony. “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 Baghel.
Speaking on the issue of Naxalism plaguing the state, the CM-designate said that it was a serious problem and that nobody can solve it instantly. He 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.”
The party’s official Twitter handle declared the name of the CM-designate and reiterated its election promise to waive farmers’ loans. “Celebrations are in order in Chhattisgarh as Bhupesh Baghel is appointed CM. We wish him the best as he forms a government of equality, transparency and integrity starting off with loan waiver for farmers as we promised,” the tweet read.
Celebrations are in order in Chhattisgarh as @Bhupesh_Baghel is appointed CM. We wish him the best as he forms a govt. of equality, transparency & integrity starting off with farm loan waiver for farmers as we promised. pic.twitter.com/7OqGcPi2eh
— Congress (@INCIndia) December 16, 2018
Rahul Gandhi had held several rounds of discussion with the four aspirants at his Tughlaq Lane residence in New Delhi. On Saturday, he met the four contenders for the top post — T S Singh Deo, Tamradhwaj Sahu, Bhupesh Baghel and Charan Das Mahant — in the presence of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Congress’ central observer Mallikarjun Kharge and AICC in-charge for party affairs in Chhattisgarh P L Punia.
On December 12, the CLP had met here in the presence of AICC observer Mallikarjun Kharge and AICC-in-charge for Chhattisgarh, P L Punia.
It had then passed a resolution authorising Gandhi to take a final call on who the next chief minister would be.
In the two-phase polls that took place on November 12 and November 20, the Congress had romped home to power in Chhattisgarh after 15 years with a two-third majority, winning 68 seats in the 90-member House.
The BJP, which was in power in the state since 2003, was reduced to 15 seats.
with PTI inputs