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The Indian National Congress announced on Sunday, 16 December, that Bhupesh Baghel will be the next Chhattisgarh Chief Minister. He will take oath on Monday, 17 December 2018.
This emerged after hectic parleys between Congress President Rahul Gandhi and four contenders in the race for the CM’s post – Bhupesh Baghel, TS Singh Deo, Tamradhwaj Sahu and Charan Das Mahant.
The Congress decimated the Raman Singh-led BJP government in the Assembly elections and returned to power in Chhattisgarh after 15 years, bagging 68 seats in the 90-member Assembly.
Who is Bhupesh Baghel?
As the Chhattisgarh Congress president, Baghel is believed to have played a crucial role in the Congress’ poll victory in the state.
“Baghel led from the front, working at the grassroots as well as coordinating with the central and state leaders. As state party president, he has worked very hard and is most likely to be chosen as the Chief Minister,” a party source had told IANS.
Bhupesh Baghel’s Political Career
Representing the Patan Assembly constituency in Chhattisgarh’s Durg district, Baghel was appointed the Chhattisgarh Congress president in October 2014.
He had joined the Indian Youth Congress in 1985 and was first elected to the MP Legislative Assembly in 1993. He would go on to become the vice president of the Madhya Pradesh unit of the Youth Congress. He became the minister of transport in 1999.
After the Congress lost to the BJP in Chhattisgarh in 2003, Baghel was appointed the deputy opposition leader of the state Assembly.
He lost the Assembly election from the Patan constituency in 2008 and won the seat back in 2013.
Bhupesh Baghel was sent to judicial remand for 14 days in September 2018 in connection with a “sex CD” scandal.
The “sex CD”, purportedly featuring a state minister, had rocked Chhattisgarh last year as Baghel was named one of the five accused in the case.
Baghel had said that he was being falsely implicated in the case and had announced a ‘satyagrah’ in jail to protest against the then BJP government.
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)
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