Sixty MLAs back Baghel amid fresh buzz in leadership change

Amid fresh speculation of a leadership change in Chhattisgarh after Punjab, around 15 Congress MLAs close to Bhupesh Baghel reached New Delhi on Wednesday to urge the High Command not to replace Baghel.

The MLAs are reportedly carrying a paper of signatures of 60 party MLAs who are vehemently opposing any change of guard in the mineral rich state. The Congress has 70 MLAs in the 90-member state assembly.

The MLAs are headed by Ramanujganj MLA Brahaspat Singh and will camp in Delhi’s Chhattisgarh Sadan. They told the media they will meet the AICC Chhattisgarh in-charge PL Punia.

“We are waiting for Puniaji to come to Delhi from Lucknow. We have sought a meeting with Rahul Gandhi too,” Brahaspat Singh said.

“Baghel is running the government in Chhattisgarh nicely and will continue to rule the state for over a decade and more. Over 60 MLAs of Chhattisgarh are with him,” Singh claimed.

Health Minister TS Singh Deo, who earlier lobbied for more than a week in Delhi for Chief Ministership, said: “In a democracy, everyone has a right to express their views. The MLAs are doing that. There is nothing wrong in it.”

There is rumour that when Baghel was appointed the Chief Minister in December 2018, a two-and-a-half-year rotational formula was agreed upon.

According to the deal, the later part of the government’s tenure was to be headed by Singh Deo. Baghel earlier said that those seeking a new Chief Minister are creating political instability in the state.