RAIPUR: Bhupesh Baghel, Chhattisgarh’s chief minister-designate, has a decisive mandate, unlike his counterparts in MP and Rajasthan. And it’s a hard-earned victory.
Baghel had taken charge as Chhattisgarh Congress chief at a time when the party’s state leadership was wiped out in a Maoist attack and when there was a Modi wave sweeping the country.
A farmer by occupation, Baghel took up the challenge to rebuild the party from the scratch after then top state Congress leaders were killed in the deadly Maoist attack at Jhiram in Bastar in 2013, and worked closely with the cadres, instilling confidence in them.
Baghel, a Kurmi (OBC community) leader, was elected from the Patan Assembly seat in Durg district for the fourth term in the recent elections.
He began his political career under the guidance of late Chandulal Chandrakar in the early 80s. After joining the Indian Youth Congress in Durg in 1985, he later became vice-president of Madhya Pradesh Youth Congress.
In the run-up to the state polls, Baghel challenged the Raman Singh government’s 15 years of rule and ‘Vikas Yatra’ through a counter campaign —‘Vikas Khojo Yatra’ (search the development) in an attempt to “expose” the development records of the Raman Raj.
A few months ago, Baghel was embroiled in a controversy when his name figured in the sex CD case featuring a senior minister of the Raman Singh government.
He was arrested by the CBI for allegedly distributing the sleazy CD and sent to jail in September. He was later granted bail.
Baghel rejected the charges against him and accused the BJP government of misusing the CBI and police to implicate him in the case.
Congress tweet celebrates
In a twitter post, the Congress said: “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.”