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Baghel, Deo meet Rahul Gandhi amid rift in Chhattisgarh Congress

The meeting of these two leaders with Rahul Gandhi came amid Deo’s reported claims for the top post in the state, demanding rotational chief ministership.

IANS | New Delhi |

Amid rift in Chhattisgarh Congress, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday met Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Health Minister T.S. Singh Deo.

Baghel and Deo met Rahul Gandhi at his residence here on Tuesday.

The meeting of these two leaders with Rahul Gandhi came amid Deo’s reported claims for the top post in the state, demanding rotational chief ministership.

Both Baghel and Deo met with Rahul Gandhi as the infighting in Chhatisgarh Congress threatens to boil over.

According to party leaders, the two-state leaders will also meet Chhattisgarh in charge P.L. Punia and others.

The meeting assumes significance following the exit of Mahila Congress chief Sushmita Dev from the party recently. The Congress had earlier faced a similar situation in Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, and some northeastern states.

There were several reports of differences between Baghel and Deo, with the latter lobbying hard for months to replace Chief Minister Baghel. On July 27, Deo walked out of the Assembly saying, “it is too much” after the opposition created an uproar demanding a House panel probe into Congress MLA Brihaspat Singh’s charge that the Minister was behind an attack on him.

Deo and Baghel have been making several trips to the national capital. Deo, for the record, maintains that “Sonia Gandhiji and Rahul Gandhiji will decide.” Following his visit, Baghel also rushed to the national capital in July this year.

During his Delhi visit, Baghel said he would abide by the decision of the leadership and returned to Raipur in the same plane with Deo.

After the 2018 Assembly elections, the names of Baghel, Deo, Charan Das Mahant and Tamradhwaj Sahu were doing the rounds for the post of the chief minister in the state. However, Baghel emerged as the winner after having several meetings with the Congress top leadership.

There also have been reports that Congress had adopted CM post-sharing formula to accommodate Baghel and Deo. The Congress has completed two and half years in the state in June this year.