'Everything is fine': Chhattisgarh MLAs return from Delhi amid leadership change buzz

By PTI

RAIPUR: Amid speculation about a possible change of guard in the Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh, at least 35 MLAs of the party camping in Delhi for the last few days, returned to Raipur on Monday evening.

Most of them said “everything is fine” in the state Congress after landing at the airport here in a special aircraft.

One of the legislators said some of his colleagues are still staying in Delhi.

After reaching Raipur, these MLAs were seen showing victory signs.

When asked about the reason they said everything is fine in Chhattisgarh currently helmed by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.

Sources in Congress had said these MLAs had gone to the national capital to express solidarity with the Chhattisgarh chief minister.

However, the majority of the legislators who returned on Monday maintained they had gone on a personal visit.

“We had gone (Delhi) for some personal work. When we all MLAs met there, we also tried to meet our state in-charge PL Punia but he was out of Delhi so we could not meet him,” Keshkal MLA Sant Ram Netam told reporters at the Raipur airport.

“Rahul Gandhi’s tour of Chhattisgarh is in the pipeline. We all wanted to request him through Punia to visit our respective districts”, he added.

Netam added, “everything is fine. We will keep visiting Delhi for our work and meeting our leaders”.

Mahasamund MLA Vinod Sevanlal Chandrakar said, “All is well. There is nothing of sorts like the speculations in media about the leadership change in Chhattisgarh.”

“The way the media is creating an uproar that the CM will be replaced; there is nothing like that. These things are projected by the BJP and RSS,” he claimed.

Talking to PTI, Chandrakar said 35 MLAs returned to Raipur on Monday evening while some legislators were still staying in Delhi.

He said the MLAs’ trip to Delhi should not be given a political colour.

Dharamjaigarh MLA Laljeet Singh Rathiya said he and other legislators had gone to extend support to the chief minister but refused to elaborate.

Rathiya said the MLAs came to know from Punia that Rahul Gandhi would visit Raipur on October 7 to take part in the inauguration ceremony of the “Ram Gaman Tourist Circuit” in Chandkhuri village in the Raipur district.

Political circles in Chhattisgarh have been rife with speculation about replacing the chief minister after the MLAs, considered close to Baghel, flew to Delhi on different days last week.

The CM had said the visit by Congress MLAs to Delhi should not be seen through the prism of politics.

Chhattisgarh Health Minister T S Singh Deo, who is apparently seeking to replace Baghel, too played down the visit by MLAs to Delhi saying it should not be made an issue.

About the possible leadership change, Singh Deo had reiterated that the Congress high command had seized of the matter.

The buzz about possible leadership change began after Baghel completed two-and-a-half years as chief minister in June 2021.

The Singh Deo camp had claimed the Congress brass in 2018 had agreed to hand over the CM’s post to him after he completed half of his five-year term, apparently to prevent factionalism.