Rahul selects Bhupesh Baghel to captain Chhattisgarh Govt
Raipur: Senior Indian National Congress (INC) leader Bhupesh Baghel was on Sunday named the new chief minister of Chhattisgarh, ending the suspense after days of intense deliberations with the top party leadership headed by president Rahul Gandhi. Congress central observer Mallikarjun Kharge made the announcement after the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting here.
Baghel will take oath as the chief minister at 5 pm on Monday, Kharge told media persons in the state capital. No other minister will be taking oath on that day, he said. The 57-year-old OBC leader, who steered the party to a stupendous victory with a two-thirds majority in Chhattisgarh pipped party colleagues T S Singh Deo, Tamradhwaj Sahu and Charan Das Mahant to the top post, as Congress chief Gandhi decided on his candidature to lead the state government.
"It was a tough decision because all the four leaders worked equally for the party and they all are equal," Kharge said. After having discussions with the four aspirants, Gandhi decided to chose Baghel as the chief minister and "we conveyed the message to all the legislators today in the CLP meeting during which they all accepted it and unanimously elected Baghel as the CLP leader," 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," he said. Shortly after Kharge's announcement, Chief Minister-designate Bhupesh Baghel said that a loan waiver for farmers will be announced at the first meeting of the new state Cabinet. He also said that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) will be constituted to probe the 2013 Jhiram valley Naxal attack in which several senior Congress leaders were killed.
"In the first Cabinet meeting, the loan waiver will be announced and an SIT will be constituted to probe the Jhiram valley incident," Baghel told reporters here. "The promises made by Congress president Rahul Gandhi to farmers will be our first priority. To probe the conspiracy behind the Jhiram valley incident will also be our priority," he said.
"Our focus will be on the welfare of farmers, tribals, youth, women and small traders," he added.
The Congress, in its twitter handle, said that the new Congress 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.
"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 party tweeted, along with a picture of Baghel.