Infighting seems to have become a hallmark of the Congress party of late. After Rajasthan and Punjab, there seems to be another internal strife brewing between the two factions within the state Congress unit in Chattisgarh as chief minister Bhupesh Baghel hightailed it to New Delhi to meet senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday, a second meeting between the two over the reported ongoing power tussle in the Chhatisgarh unit of the party.
On Tuesday this week, Baghel had travelled to the capital to have talks with Rahul Gandhi, who also had talks with TS Deo to hash out a solution to the stalemate in Chhattisgarh, allegedly caused by the disagreement over power-sharing agreement put in place when the government was formed in December 2018.
Since then there have been rumours doing the rounds that Chhattisgarh can have a change of guard even though Baghel and his supporters have vehemently denied the possibility of having any such development.
At the heart of the issue lies the contentious two-and-a-half-year-power sharing formula for the chief minister’s post in the state. The rift over sharing the post on a rotational basis has been in talks ever since Congress came into power in December 2018. It is being reported that Baghel is refusing to honour the agreement while TS Deo is insisting that the power-sharing agreement that was decided at the time of forming the government in the state be followed.
Amidst looming uncertainty, as many as 35 Congress MLAs from Chhattisgarh flew down to Delhi on Thursday night. It is being reported that 20 more are expected to travel to the capital and a total of 55 are likely to stand in support of Baghel, out of the total of 68 MLAs the party has in the state.
With considerable speculations of growing resentment among a faction of Chhattisgarh state Congress unit, PL Punia, in charge of the state’s Congress unit, tried to understate the crisis, saying that said that the talks among Baghel, Deo, and Gandhi centred around developmental issues and not leadership change. He further added that the Congress leadership has not “summoned” any of the state’s legislators to the national capital.
Though the Congress party would naturally play down the internecine conflict among the leaders in Chhattisgarh, the statements issued by Baghel and TS Deo lays bare the rift that plagues the party’s state unit.
After meeting Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday, Baghel proclaimed that those who want to implement “two and a half years’ (power-sharing formula) in the state are trying to foment political instability. On the other hand, TS Deo, who has remained in Delhi since the meetings on Tuesday, said, “If a person plays in a team, then doesn’t he think of becoming the captain? Everyone thinks about that but the question is not about thoughts, it’s about capabilities. The high command takes a decision.”
Sidhu vs Singh tussle in Punjab escalates as the former launches attack against state government over sugarcane pricing
The crisis in Chhattisgarh is succeeded by the imbroglio Congress faces in Punjab as President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee Navjot Singh Sidhu trained his guns on chief minister Amarinder Singh. Thirty MLAs of Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu’s camp, including four ministers, have sought the removal of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. A delegation of the rebel MLAs will be meeting the party high command in Delhi with their demand.
Earlier this week, Sidhu launched a blistering attack against the Congress government in the state and hailed neighbouring BJP-ruled states for higher State Assured Prices(SAP) for Sugarcane.
Sidhu on Monday posted a tweet calling for an increase in State Agreed Price (SAP) for sugarcane in Punjab, asserting that despite the higher cost of cultivation in the state, the SAP is lower than that received by farmers in BJP ruled states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
“The sugarcane farmers issue needs to be immediately resolved amicably…Strange that despite the higher cost of cultivation in Punjab the state assured price is too low as compared to Haryana/UP/Uttarakhand. As a torchbearer of agriculture, the Punjab SAP should be better!” Sidhu tweeted.