Bhupesh Baghel is new Chhattisgarh chief minister

 Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister designate Bhupesh Baghel, Congress state in-charge P L Punia and others during a press conference after the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting, in Raipur on Sunday. PTI photo

After days of suspense, Bhupesh Baghel was finally chosen as the Congress' man to head the Chhattisgarh government.

AICC observer Mallikarjun Kharge and AICC in-charge of Chhattisgarh P L Punia made the announcement after a Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting, held at Rajiv Bhawan, the party's state headquarters.

According to initial reports, as many as 68 MLAs were present at the CLP meeting, which lasted for two and a half hours.

The decision, to name Baghel the chief minister, was taken by party president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday evening in New Delhi.

Baghel will be the lone person to take the oath of office and secrecy, which will be administered by Governor Anandiben Patel, on Monday.

Many top leaders are expected to attend the swearing-in ceremony.

After he took over as Congress' state unit chief five years ago, Baghel had led the party from front, taking the issues against the BJP to the House and the road.

“Probe into the conspiracy of Jheeram valley massacre will be our top priority. The other priority is to protect the interests of farmers, poor and small vendors. After the government is formed, a Special Investigation Team will be constituted to probe the massacre,” Baghel said in his first statement right after he was declared the chief minister.

Congress leaders T S Singhdeo and Punia reiterated Baghel's stand on the probe.

Singhdeo added that fulfilling the promises made to the farmers is also the government's priority.

Though a judicial probe is underway and NIA too conducted a probe, till date nothing substantive has emerged regarding the conspiracy.

The Congress has been regularly raising the demand for a probe of the incident in which many top party leaders were killed.

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Bhupesh Baghel is new Chhattisgarh chief minister

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