Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra hopped from 10 Janpath, the residence of party president Sonia Gandhi to 12 Tughlak Road, the residence of Rahul Gandhi on Friday during the meeting with Bhupesh Baghel. At the end of the three-hour meet, it’s status quo in Chhattisgarh and there is no word on leadership change in the state.
Priyanka was seen exiting from 10 Janpath and entering and exiting from Rahul Gandhi’s residence to formalize the middle path in the state but there is no official announcement of any formula, also the Chhattisgarh CM did not answer on the rotational chief ministership.
It’s being said in political circles that Priyanka Gandhi’s intervention and Bhupesh Baghel’s involvement in Uttar Pradesh saved the day. Baghel maintains good relations with the Congress General Secretary in charge of UP as about 50 people from the state are being put in UP to train the cadre by Bhupesh Baghel’s team and recently about 100 workers from UP were trained in Raipur.
The Chhattisgarh Chief Minister has put in all the resources in UP before that he was a campaign in charge of Assam.
It is not the first time Priyanka Gandhi has intervened in the crucial decision-making process, she was instrumental in the appointment of Navjot Singh Sidhu as Punjab Congress President when he was sulking and was about to jump the ship. Before that when Sachin Pilot led a revolt in July 2020 it was Priyanka Gandhi who pacified Pilot and saved the government last year in Rajasthan, however, she was unable to stop the revolt of Jyotiraditya Scindia which led to the collapse of the government in Madhya Pradesh while Jitin Prasada who worked closely with her also left and joined the BJP.
While Scindia is a Union Minister, Jitin Prasada is expected to get a reward soon.
Last year when G-23 leaders wrote a letter and after passing away of Ahmed Patel, she defused the tension by arranging a meeting with the group and Sonia Gandhi, since then there have been individual statements like from Kapil Sibal and some others but no collective movement has started.
For the party it was AP as Ahmed Patel was popularly called, was the chief troubleshooter but after his untimely demise due to Covid, the party was feeling the gap but PG (Priyanka Gandhi) has stepped in his shoes and along with Kamal Nath has been talking to leaders and working behind to solve problems, a close aide points out.
Coming back to Chhattisgarh, she in her intervention has asked the Chief Minister to placate sulking T.S. Singhdeo and it’s expected that final decision may be taken after Rahul Gandhi visits the state next month while the Chief Minister has shown his strength by rallying support of more than 50 MLAs which has not gone down well in the party.
On Friday, Bhupesh Baghel had a three-hour meeting with Rahul Gandhi, after which, Baghel said that he has invited Gandhi to visit the state.
“I have apprised him of everything and discussed political as well as administrative issues… have requested Rahul Gandhi to visit Chhattisgarh,” he said. After the meeting, Baghel went to Akbar Road, the party headquarters to meet the MLAs camping in support of him.
The Congress high command had summoned Baghel to Delhi on Friday to take a final call whether the powerful OBC leader should be allowed to continue as the Chief Minister or be replaced by T.S. Singh Deo, scion of the Surguja royal family.
The political temperature within the Congress in Chhattisgarh has all of a sudden soared as 56 party MLAs are openly backing Baghel and paraded before the party high command in New Delhi.
The issue in the state boiled after the two leaders were called to Delhi on Tuesday and both Singhdeo and Baghel met Rahul Gandhi in Delhi and was summoned again on Friday.