RAIPUR: Those talking about a rotation of chief minister’s post were trying to bring political instability to the state, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said here on Wednesday as he returned from Delhi.
During his visit to the national capital, he met Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and other senior party leaders over his power tussle with T S Singh Deo in the state.
In an apparent show of strength, a huge crowd of supporters along with several party MLAs and some cabinet ministers welcomed Baghel as he landed at Swami Vivekanand Airport here.
“I have said in the past that when the high command orders, I will quit the post. No one should doubt it. Those who are talking about two and a half years, they are trying to bring political instability and they will never succeed,” he told reporters at the airport.
“As far as the incumbent state government is concerned, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi entrusted the responsibility to a farmer like me. I am happy about it. This government is of farmers, tribals, labourers and 2.8 crore people of the state. The government is functioning well,” he added.
Earlier, slogans such as ‘Chhattisgarh ada hua hai, CM Bhupesh Baghel ke sang khada hua hai’ (Chhattisgarh is adamant, it is standing with CM Baghel) were raised by his supporters as Baghel arrived.
According to Congress sources, the differences between Baghel and his rival, state health minister Singh Deo, would be soon resolved.
He met Rahul Gandhi, party general secretary K C Venugopal and Congress’s state in-charge P L Punia and held discussions on the “state government’s schemes, development and political situation” and “they were apprised of the situation in Chhattisgarh,” Baghel said.
“Punia ji has already clarified (about the rumours of leadership change). After his statement, is there anything left to be said?” the chief minister asked.
After Rahul Gandhi’s meetings with Baghel and Singh Deo in Delhi on Tuesday, Punia had told reporters that they discussed development issues and not the leadership change.
Asked about opposition BJP’s demand for clarification on the issue of rotation of CM’s post, Baghel said it was worried because there was a “farmers’ government” in Chhattisgarh.
“The son of a farmer is the chief minister whom they (BJP) consider as their biggest challenge. The BJP has no answer to the culture of Chhattisgarh,” he said.
The BJP was in power from 2003 to 2018, but now it is reduced to 14 seats in the 90-member assembly, he said.
Asked about the slogans in his favour at the airport, Baghel said everyone was raising slogans in favour of “Soniaji, Rahulji and the Congress party.”
When the Congress opted for Baghel for the top post following its victory in the 2018 assembly polls, there was speculation that Singh Deo, another contender in the fray, would be allowed to take over after half the term.
Baghel completed two and a half years in office in June 2021.