Congress names Bhupesh Baghel Chhattisgarh CM; to be sworn in tomorrow alongside Rajathan, Madhya Pradesh counterparts

After Sunday's Congress Legislature Party meeting in Raipur, Chhatisgarh party president Bhupesh Baghel was declared the state's chief minister. Baghel and his counterparts in Rajasthan (Ashok Gehlot) and Madhya Pradesh (Kamal Nath) will take oath as chief ministers in three back-to-back ceremonies on Monday, reports said. Baghel's oath-taking ceremony has been scheduled for 4:30 pm on Monday.

However, All India Congress Committee (AICC) observer for Chhattisgarh, Mallikarjun Kharge, told media on Sunday that the oath-taking ceremony for Baghel will be held in Raipur on Monday, but a decision on rest of the cabinet will be taken later. Congress president Rahul Gandhi will reportedly attend all the events.

The decision was announced a day after four top contenders for the job met party president Rahul Gandhi at his residence in New Delhi.

Along with Baghel, Rahul met with the Leader of Opposition in the outgoing state Assembly TS Singh Deo, Lok Sabha MP Tamradhwaj Sahu and Charan Das Mahant at his Tughlaq Lane home in Delhi. Party sources told NDTV UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were also present at the Congress chief's residence.

After being appointed Chhattisgarh chief minister, Baghel thanked Rahul for entrusting him the "responsibility of bringing in the majority, and now trusting him with the responsibility of constructing a new Chhattisgarh." He further assured the people of Chhattisgarh that the "Congress government will work to fulfil their aspirations, hopes and desires."

Baghel is known as an aggressive leader who consolidated Chhattisgarh Congress at the grassroots after a Maoist attack wiped out its top leadership in 2013.

Baghel has also been embroiled in controversy over his alleged involvement in a fake sex CD case. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed a charge sheet in September, in which it named Baghel and a few others as accused.

The controversial CD allegedly featured a state minister, who had rejected it as fake. The BJP has used this case to target the Congress ahead of the polls, while Baghel has pleaded innocence and described it as a political attack.

Congress won in three out of the five states that went to polls, and ended the BJP's rule in Chhattisgarh. Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Updated Date: Dec 16, 2018 15:49:51 IST