Raipur: The newly elected Congress MLAs in Chhattisgarh will meet here on Wednesday to decide on the new Chief Minister, with informed sources indicating that state party chief Bhupesh Baghel was the front-runner.
All India Congress Committee observer Mallikarjun Kharge will preside over the meeting with all newly elected MLAs, set for the evening, Baghel told IANS. “A decision regarding the Chief Minister will be taken there.” Among others to attend the meeting will be Congress in-charge for the state, P.L. Punia.
The race for the Chief Minister’s post is primarily between Patan MLA Baghel, party veteran T.S. Singh Deo, who was the Leader of Opposition in the former Assembly, and the party’s lone Lok Sabha MP from the state, Tamradhwaj Sahu. Besides the three, former Union Minister Charan Das Mahant is also said to be in the reckoning.
A former state Minister, Baghel is widely seen as the frontrunner for the top post.
“Baghel led from the front working at the grassroots as well as coordinating with the central and state leaders. As state party president, he has worked very hard and is most likely to be chosen as the Chief Minister,” said a party source.
Decimating the Raman Singh-led BJP, the Congress returned to power in the state after 15 years bagging 68 seats in the 90-member Assembly.