Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel and Minister Singh Deo to meet party high command today in Delhi

People acquainted with the development claimed that chief minister Bhupesh Baghel and health minister TS Singh Deo will meet the Congress high command in Delhi on Tuesday, amid allegations of a rift over a rumoured power-sharing arrangement in the ruling Congress party in Chhattisgarh.

People familiar with the development said that chief minister Bhupesh Baghel and health minister TS Singh Deo will meet Congress high command in Delhi on Tuesday in the afternoon, in the presence of the party’s Chhattisgarh in-charge and PL Punia, amid rumours of a rift over a reported power-sharing arrangement in the ruling Congress party in Chhattisgarh.

“The CM’s meeting was set for about a month and a half ago. It’s a review meeting, therefore the power-sharing formula will undoubtedly be reviewed. Both Singh Deo and Baghel will attend the meeting, according to a leader close to Baghel.

After June 17, when the CM completed two and a half years in office, tensions between Baghel and Singh Deo began to simmer.

After the Congress came to power in December 2018, when Baghel and his two senior cabinet colleagues, Singh Deo and Tamradhwaj Sahu, were the front-runners for the top job, the CM’s post-sharing formula became a talking issue in Chhattisgarh’s political circles. Since then, rumours have circulated that a two-and-a-half-year power-sharing mechanism between Baghel and Singh Deo was used to build consensus for the top job.

In response to the near-constant speculation, both leaders have stated that choices would be made by the high command and that they will obey Delhi’s orders.

“You should contact Punia Ji (PL Punia), he is the ideal person to share additional details,” Singh Deo said when questioned about the meeting in Delhi on Tuesday. Punia did not respond to numerous phone calls for comment.

Singh Deo was in Delhi earlier this month and spoke with some top figures, but when asked, he denied it and said he was there on a personal visit.

People inside the Congress think that despite being the health minister, Singh Deo was consistently disregarded in some of the most significant meetings during the Covid-19 outbreak, escalating tensions between the two leaders.

“We are aware of the situation in Chhattisgarh between Singh Deo and Baghel. In the presence of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, a possible conversation on everything will take place on Tuesday. I don’t know the order or timing of the meetings, but both will meet with Chhattisgarh leaders and will undoubtedly discuss all problems, including the power-sharing formula,” a senior Congress leader in Delhi said.

Singh Deo urged “severe action” against the news outlet in a letter to the department on Monday, claiming it is a “planned scheme” to “pollute” the state’s political atmosphere.

Assembly speaker and senior Congress leader Charan Das Mahant broached the question of power-sharing between the two leaders roughly ten days ago.

Mahanta stated that he, along with senior leaders Baghel, Singh Deo, and home minister Tamradhwaj Sahu, had competed in the semifinals for the position of CM and that the final was already underway.

On July 27, Singh Deo stormed out of the state legislature, seeking answers from his government about charges that his cousin was engaged in an alleged attack on Congress politician Brihaspat Singh.

Singh claimed that his convoy was ambushed on the orders of Singh Deo in Surguja district, which is the health minister’s assembly seat.

The problem was later settled thanks to PL Punia’s involvement, and Singh Deo returned to the assembly after apologising for his remarks against the minister.

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