State Congress President Bhupesh Baghel was on Monday sworn in as the third Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, bringing to an end 15-year rule of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state.
Baghel, who represents Patan Assembly constituency in Durg district, was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Anandiben Patel in the presence of Congress President Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, among other dignitaries here.
Made the state party chief in October 2014, Baghel is being hailed as the architect of Congress’ landslide victory in the tribal-dominated state where it won 68 seats in the 90-member Assembly.
Baghel took over the reins of party nearly a year-and-half after the entire top state leadership was wiped out in a Maoist attack in 2013, including then-state unit chief Nand Kumar Patel and party veteran Vidya Charan Shukla.
A powerful leader of the OBC community, Baghel was a Minister in Digvijay Singh’s cabinet in undivided Madhya Pradesh and later became a Minister in Ajit Jogi’s government after Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh.
Launching his political career as a students leader, Baghel was elected to the undivided Madhya Pradesh Assembly for the first time in 1993.