The results of five assembly states were announced on Tuesday, witnessing a come-back of Congress Party, and BJP losing its hold in Hindi heartland. In Chhattisgarh, the party decimated the incumbent government by a thumping majority of 68 seats against BJP’s 15.
After a long spell of speculations, the Congress has finally announced its Chief Minister for the state of Chhattisgarh. On Sunday, it was announced that Bhupesh Baghel would be the Chief Minister of the state.
Bhupesh Baghel is a prominent face of OBC politics in Chhatisgarh. He contested from Patan constituency and won against Motilal Sahu of BJP by a margin of around 27 thousand votes.
He served in Public Grievance Deptarment in Digvijay Singh’s cabinet of undivided Madhya Pradesh and later was promoted to the Ministry of Transport in 1999.
After, the division of Madhya Pradesh, Baghel became a legislator in Chhattisgarh Assembly. He served as Minister of Revenue, Public Health Engineering in Chhattisgarh’s first CM Ajit Jogi’s cabinet. He also tried his luck in Lok Sabha elections of 2004 and 2009 but failed to win in any of them. He served as deputy opposition leader from 2003 to 2008, when Congress was ousted in 2003 assembly elections. In 2008, Baghel also lost his Patan assembly elections.
He won his assembly seat back in 2013 and also restructured the Congress party after the 2013 Naxal attack on the Congress convoy during a rally in Sukhma. It had left 27 dead, including many Chhattisgarh Congress veteran leaders.
He along with the leader of opposition TS Singhdeo helped Congress party fight the Ajit Jogi menace, who was expelled from the party for Antagarh Assembly by-election audio tape row.
He was elevated to state-unit president in 2014. He hit the national headlines when his name was mentioned in the CBI charge sheet for his alleged involvement in circulating a fake sex-tape of BJP minister Rajesh Munat.
In April this year, Chhattisgarh police arrested journalist Vinod Verma, a close confidant of Baghel, claiming that sex CDs of a minister was found in his possession and also lodged an FIR against Bhupesh Baghel under IT Act. Baghel was sent to 14-day Judicial custody where he had threatened to start an in-jail satyagraha claiming his innocence. Baghel had refused to apply for bail and remained in custody until congress party prompted him to apply.
Bhupesh Baghel was running against his colleague TS Singdeo in CM race after elections. Congress had decided to go without CM face in elections. While CM candidate was named for MP and Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh has been decided only today.