The Congress addressed a long-standing demand of the royal from Sarguja who has eyed chief minister’s post since the party came to power in Chhattisgarh in 2018. Singh Deo had given up panchayati raj and rural development portfolio in July 2022 accusing chief minister Bhupesh Baghel of sidelining him in the functioning of his own department.
Despite these run-ins the tussle in Chhattisgarh had never reached the same scale as the face-off in Rajasthan state unit. Even then it was evident that Singh Deo had been sulking and was being courted by parties including the new entrant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). On Wednesday evening, the decision was taken following a meeting of the state leadership with the Congress top brass. Baghel took to Twitter to congratulate Singh Deo. He tweeted a photograph of himself and Singh Deo saying, “Hain tayyar hum. Maharaj sahab ko upmukhyamantri ke roop mein daayitv ke liye badhaai aur shubhkaamnayein @TS_SinghDeo.”
Earlier, the Congress brass held a strategy meeting with the state leadership and underlined the need to fight the upcoming elections unitedly. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, senior leader Rahul Gandhi, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, state in-charge Kumari Selja, party general secretary KC Venugopal, senior minister TS Singh Deo, state party chief Mohan Markam, Syed Naseer Hussain, party poll strategist Sunil Kanugolu and others were present at the meeting. Baghel apprised the leadership about the state government’s development and social empowerment initiatives and Markam briefed about the ongoing booth-level organisational work.