After the meeting of Rahul Gandhi with Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and T.S. Singh Deo, it is widely expected that the state could see a minor portfolio reshuffle. Singh Deo may be given more importance in the cabinet and it’s likely he may be allotted a portfolio soon. Currently he holds the health portfolio.
Sources said that Rahul Gandhi is visibly upset over the issues between the two leaders and has asked secretary general (organisation) K.C. Venugopal to sort them out soon. It is said that Singh Deo may be allotted the finance portfolio, while the final decision will be taken by Sonia Gandhi and she is likely to meet the leaders after a truce formula is evolved.
In the meeting with Rahul Gandhi, Singh Deo kept the grievances to the fore, and complained against Amarjeet Bhagat who is from the same region as Singh Deo.
Meanwhile, Baghel received a huge welcome in Raipur on his return from Delhi on Wednesday after the meeting. He said, “I will step down when Sonia and Rahul Ji order me. Those talking about a 2-2.5 years plan are trying to bring political instability but will never succeed,” he said referring to the demand of rotational chief ministership by Singh Deo.
On Tuesday, the meeting lasted for over two and a half hours at the residence of Rahul Gandhi. After the meeting, Chhattisgarh Congress in-charge P.L. Punia speaking to the media said, “There was no discussion on change of leadership in Chhattisgarh.”
Punia attended the meeting along with the state Chief Minister and the health minister.
The meeting of these two leaders with Rahul Gandhi came amid Deo’s reported claims for the top post in the state, demanding rotational chief ministership.
There were several reports of differences between Baghel and Deo, with the latter lobbying hard for months to replace Chief Minister Baghel. On July 27, Deo walked out of the Assembly saying, “it is too much” after the opposition created an uproar demanding a House panel probe into Congress MLA Brihaspat Singh’s charge that the Minister was behind an attack on him.
Deo and Baghel have been making several trips to the national capital. Deo, for the record, maintains that “Sonia Gandhiji and Rahul Gandhiji will decide.” Following his visit, Baghel also rushed to the national capital in July this year.