12 April, 2021

Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel: A Farmer's Son And A Political Surgeon

New Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel is a political surgeon. He now puts his hand to the plough.

Bhupesh Baghel (centre) with Rahul Gandhi and legislator T.S. Singhdeo
Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel: A Farmer's Son And A Political Surgeon

Of the records that new Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel holds, there’s a couple that stands out. The rock-ribbed, nonconformist Congressman put two state strongmen in the pits when no one thought it is possible. They are former party colleague Ajit Jogi, the state’s first chief minister, and the BJP’s Raman Singh who ruled for 15 years until the Baghel-inspired Congress turnaround this assembly polls. The Congress swept to power winning 68 of the 90 assembly seats. And the five-time MLA for Patan in Durg district is credited with composing this much-awaited victory—sweetest for the party since the state was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in 2000—and efficiently segueing Chhattisgarh Congress from an internal infighting unit to a strong alternative to the BJP.

But fixing the disjointed Congress needed major and risky surgery, which 57-year-old Baghel and T.S. Singhdeo—the legislator for Ambikapur and former leader of the Opposition—perfor­med with precision. This happened after Amit Jogi, the son of former chief...

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