Ajay Bhan Singh
Raipur, 2 January
Seen as humble and an articulate former royal of Sarguja dynasty, Mr T S Singh Deo was elected on Thursday as Congress Legislature Party leader by the newly elected party MLAs of Chhattisgarh.
Sixty-year-old year old Mr Singh Deo was has been elected as an MLA from the Assembly constituency of Ambikapur, defeating a BJP top gun, Mr Anurag Singh Deo.
He was widely expected to be named as leader of Opposition in the new Assembly soon after it became clear that the party brass was looking for a combative yet sophisticated and experienced leader to take on the ruling BJP which is running high on a third consecutive win.
Veteran Congress leader, Mrs Ambika Soni, and General Secretary, Mr Ajay Maken, flew down to Raipur to oversee the election of CLP in a first meeting of newly elected party MLAs in private hotel today.
Mrs Renu Jogi, wife of former chief minister, Mr Ajit Jogi, was elected as Deputy leader of Opposition.
State capital witnessed a hectic lobbying for last one week for the slot with trusted Digvijay Singh lieutenant Mr Satyanarayan Sharma and party hopper Mr Ramdayal Uike from the Jogi camp was also vying to be elevated to the coveted post.
However, it was Mr Singh Deo who had a last laugh with his cordial relations with Gandhi family and of course a blue blood connection with Mr Digvijay Singh. Ousted PCC Chief Mr Charan Das Mahant was instrumental in rallying the elected MLAs in favour Mr Singh Deo.