Tussle over Cong CM candidate in C'garh deepens

Tussle over Cong CM candidate in C'garh deepens

Three days after winning three states: Rahul quotes Tolstoy, Hoffman on unity, patience and teamwork

For throne and seats: Congress president Rahul Gandhi (C) with contenders for the post of chief minister of Chhattisgarh (From Left) Charandas Mahant, Tamradhwaj Sahu, Bhupesh Baghel and T S Singhdeo. Twitter/ @RahulGandhi

Struggling to find a consensus choice for Chief Minister in Chhattisgarh after having resolved similar disputes in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday held back to back meetings with top party functionaries.

The party, however, did not make any official announcement on who it has named Chief Minister with AICC in-charge for Chhattisgarh  P L Puniya saying that the name will be announced after a meeting of MLAs in Raipur on Sunday.

“A meeting will be held at 12 pm tomorrow. Then we will inform,” was the brief response of Puniya after Rahul held consultations with him, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge besides leaders from Chhattisgarh.

In the late afternoon, Gandhi tweeted a quote from acclaimed American entrepreneur Reid Hoffman to hammer home the message of unity among warring aspirants of the party.

“No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team,” Gandhi said quoting Hoffman in the tweet along with a photograph of all four contenders for CM post in the tribal state.

Along with Gandhi, those seen in the photos are Charandas Mahant, Tamradhwaj Sahu, Bhupehs Baghel and TS Singhvdeo—all with smiling faces with Gandhi in between.

It is learnt that Sahu, who feels he has lost the race, was unhappy and felt that though his name was proposed, it was withdrawn under pressure. While Baghel refused to say whether MLAs have favoured him as CM candidate calling the opinion expressed my MLAs as “confidential”, Singhdeo downplayed reports about his name doing rounds for Chief Minister saying somebody might have proposed in the meeting.

He also rejected questions about the delay in naming CM for Chhattisgarh reminding that “it had taken a longer time to name Yogi Adityanath as BJP’s Chief Minister of UP.”

Gandhi earlier met all the four at his Tughlaq Lane residence and held discussions with them. This was the third round of discussion that the Congress chief held for selecting the chief minister for Chhattisgarh, where the party came to power after 15 years with a two-thirds majority.

Ever since Congress scored a 3:0 against the BJP in Hindi heartland states, the party top leadership has had a tough time in brokering peace.

Gandhi had put out similar photographs Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot with the tagline “The united colours of Rajasthan” before a final announcement was made as Gehlot as CM and Pilot as Deputy CM two tense days between the rival camps post the Congress victory there.

Gandhi had quoted Leo Tolstoy to emphasize the message “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time” along with photographs of Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia, when rivalry for Chief Ministership between was preventing an early decision.

The tussle in Madhya Pradesh, was, however, very little in comparison to what the Congress saw in Rajasthan with spectacles on tyre burning on the highways by supporters of Pilot.

The Congress Friday named Ashok Gehlot Rajasthan's next chief minister after several rounds of discussions lasting more than two days. In Madhya Pradesh, Congress leader Kamal Nath was made chief minister-designate on December 13.