By Sujeet Kumar
Raipu: The Congress high command has summoned Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel to Delhi on Friday to take a final call whether the powerful OBC leader should be allowed to continue as the CM or be replaced by T.S. Singh Deo, scion of the Surguja royal family.
Political temperature within the Congress in Chhattisgarh has all of a sudden soared as 56 party MLAs are openly backing Baghel and they are ready to parade before party high-command in New Delhi. Majority of them have already landed in the national capital.
Congress has 70 MLAs in the 90-member House in the mineral-rich state, but still everything is not well within the grand old party as Singh Deo is pushing hard in his bid to replace Baghel, saying he was promised in late 2018 that he would succeed to Baghel after the latter completes his two-and-half-year term.
Analysts in Chhattisgarh have been surprised at the way the Congress high-command is attempting to handle the entire episode as Singh Deo lacks acceptability among the party cadres and appeal in masses.
Majority of the Congress MLAs say what is the need to create a political uncertainty in the state when Baghel is performing exceptionally well and the Congress high-command too has acknowledged it publicly.
The Congress returned to power in Chhattisgarh in late 2018 after a gap of 15 years solely because Baghel put up a spirited street fight against the unstoppable BJP regime and the entire dominant OBC community switched over to the Congress on Baghel’s call. The OBC community makes up roughly half of state’s estimated 2.75 crore population.
Analysts say that the Congress high-command needs to read writing on the wall and should not commit suicide in Chhattisgarh. If Baghel is replaced, the OBC community will never accept this humiliation and the party will have to wait for another 15 years to explore chances of making a comeback in the mining state.