New Delhi: Bhupesh Baghel on Monday sworn in as the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh at a ceremony. Governor Anandiben Patel administered the oath of office to Baghel in the presence of Congress President Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, among other dignitaries. T S. Singh Deo and Tamradhwaj Sahu also took oath as ministers along with Baghel.
Baghel is the third Chief Minister of the state. He represents Patan Assembly constituency in Durg district. The ceremony was organised at Balbir Singh Juneja Indoor Stadium.
Baghel has been the President of Chhattisgarh Congress since October 2014. He is a former state minister and a former deputy leader of the Congress Legislature Party during the first tenure of BJP from 2003-2008. He was recently arrested by the CBI for allegedly distributing a “fake sleaze video” featuring a BJP state minister. Baghel is currently out on bail.
Baghel was appointed as Chief Minister of the state on Sunday. The announcement came five days after the assembly election results. Top contenders for the post were– Bhupesh Baghel, TS Singh Deo, Charan Das Mahant and Tamradhwaj Sahu. Rahul Gandhi has been holding hectic parleys with top leaders to decide on the top post for the state, where the party romped home to power after 15 years with a two-thirds majority in the recently concluded Assembly Elections 2018.
Earlier on Sunday, a delegation of newly-elected Congress MLAs led by Baghel visited the Raj Bhavan and handed over a letter staking claim to form a government to Secretary of the Governor, Surendra Kumar Jaiswal. Jaiswal received the letter on behalf of the governor as she was not in the state.
In the two-phase polls on November 12 and November 20, the Congress romped home to power in Chhattisgarh after 15 years with a two-thirds majority, winning 68 seats in the 90-member House. The BJP, in power in the state since 2003, was reduced to 15 seats.
Earlier in the day, senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot and Kamal Nath sworn in as Chief Ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. They took oath in the presence of Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
On Friday, the Congress had named Ashok Gehlot as chief minister of Rajasthan, where the party which won 99 seats has received the support of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) to reach the majority mark of 100. In Madhya Pradesh, Congress leader Kamal Nath was made chief minister-designate on December 13. The party emerged victorious on 114 seats, two short of the magic figure but got the support by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) in the state.