NEW DELHI: After Punjab, Congress is now facing trouble in Chhattisgarh unit with reports of tensions between Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and his senior cabinet minister TS Singh Deo. Amid specualtions of leadership change in the state, Baghle met top leadership in national capital on Sunday and said he would step down if asked by the party high command.
His comments came amid reports that his cabinet minister is pressing for a decision on chief ministership based on Rs 2.5-year-formula’. However, both Baghel and other Congress leaders dismissed talks of change at the top in the state.
“If the Congress high command asks someone else to step in as chief minister of Chhattisgarh, it will be so. The high command instructed me to take oath (as CM), so I took the oath. The Congress has a three-fourth majority in Chhattisgarh. When they (high command) will say someone else will be the chief minister, then it will be so. Such agreements happen in a coalition government,” he said regarding speculations about the understanding that he will be the CM just for two-and-a-half years.
Punia also said there was no such formula of changing chief ministers after a few years. “As Bhupesh Baghel ji also cleared, there is no such understanding or formula. The Congress party has a three-fourth majority in Chhattisgarh. Such an agreement happens in coalition governments,” he said.
Baghel also met Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, state in-charge P L Punia and organisation in-charge K C Venugopal. Party sources said the Chhattisgarh CM is likely to play a key role in preparing the Congress organisation in Uttar Pradesh for the assembly polls next year with a focus on strategising and booth management.
Bhagel said that he was ready to take up responsibilities for the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh next year. “If the high command gives me any responsibility for upcoming elections in UP, I will do it,” he added.