Chhattisgarh: CM Baghel, Singh Deo likely to meet Congress high command separately amid rift in party’s state unit

CM Baghel, who has been appointed as the Congress’ senior observer for the upcoming Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, is likely to hold discussion in this regard with senior party leaders on Sunday.

Chhattisgarh: CM Baghel, Singh Deo likely to meet Congress high command separately amid rift in party’s state unit
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel (File photo: IE)

As the rift in the ruling Congress in Chhattisgarh deepens after state minister T S Singh Deo quit one of the departments he held, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel will leave for Delhi on Saturday evening and is likely to meet the party high command there, a party leader said.

Singh Deo, who is currently in Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), will also reach Delhi this evening seeking to meet the party’s top brass, an official from the minister’s office here said.

CM Baghel, who has been appointed as the Congress’ senior observer for the upcoming Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, is likely to hold discussion in this regard with senior party leaders on Sunday.

“The chief minister will leave for Delhi around 4 pm and will stay there tonight,” a party leader said.

Baghel is likely to apprise the party high command of the developments within the state unit after the Singh Deo episode, he said.

Meanwhile, Singh Deo, who is currently in Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), will also reach Delhi this evening seeking to meet the party high command, an official from the minister’s office here said.

On July 16, Singh Deo, who is locked in a turf war with Baghel, resigned from his post of the minister of panchayat and rural development, hinting that he was sidelined in the state government. The development triggered a fresh row in the ruling party.

Singh Deo, however, remains the minister for health and family welfare, medical education, twenty point implementation and commercial tax (GST) departments.

The sudden development, which has come over a year ahead of the state Assembly elections, is being seen as bitter fallout of an old political rivalry between Baghel and Singh Deo, who was seeking the chief minister’s post under a purported power-sharing agreement.

In a four-page resignation letter to the chief minister, Singh Deo cited various reasons and claimed that he was unable to fulfil the targets set for the rural development department as per the Jan Ghoshna Patra (poll manifesto), given the “current scenario”.

In June last year, the differences between Baghel and Singh Deo had flared up shortly after the former completed half his tenure in the office.

A fresh point of contention between the chief minister and Singh Deo seems to be the coal mine projects in the Hasdeo Arand forest area of Surguja district.

On Thursday, Baghel handed over the panchayat and rural development portfolio to senior minister Ravindra Choubey.

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