Raipur: The new chief minister of Chhattisgarh is likely to be announced by the Congress on Sunday as hectic parleys continued five days after the party registered a landslide victory in the Hindi heartland state.
According to party sources, four MLAs — Bhupesh Baghel, TS Singh Deo, Tamradhwaj Sahu and Charan Das Mahant — are vying for the post.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi held deliberations with the four leaders at his Tughlaq Lane residence in the nationl capital on Saturday, sources said, adding that a legislature party meeting scheduled for Saturday has been postponed to Sunday.
On December 12, the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) had met here in the presence of AICC observer Mallikarjun Kharge and AICC-in-charge for Chhattisgarh, PL Punia. It had passed a resolution authorising Gandhi to take a final call on who would be the next chief minister.
Party functionaries said Gandhi had held the first round of meeting with Kharge and Punia on December 13.
Speaking on the selection of the new CM, state Congress general secretary Shailesh Nitin Trivedi said the decision would be taken after consultation with everyone, including contenders for the post.
"I want TS Singh Deo to become chief minister and we have expressed our feelings to Kharge ji. However, we will abide by any decision that the party high command takes," Samri MLA Chintamani Maharaj told PTI Saturday.
The MLA added that over 40 of the 68 newly-elected legislators wanted Deo as CM.
Meanwhile, Congress' Durg district general secretary Kaushal Chandrakar said Baghel should be made CM as he has worked to give a new lease of life to the party while it was out of power since 2003.
"The credit for the massive victory goes to Baghel and he should become CM," Chandrakar said.
The BJP, however, has questioned the delay in choosing a CM with BJP state general secretary Sachchidanand Upasane asking how the party intended to run the government when it was taking so much time to zero in on a chief minister.
In the two-phase polls that took place on November 12 and November 20, the Congress won 68 seats in the 90-member House and the BJP, in power since 2003, was reduced to 15 seats.