Tensions in Chhattisgarh politics has deepened as around 25 Congress MLAs known to be close to Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, camping in New Delhi are yet to return, while nearly 15 more MLAs are expected to leave for national capital by Saturday morning, sources said.
The MLAs camping in Delhi could not have an audience with state in-charge PL Punia or the party general secretary KC Venugopal, sources said. Around 10 to 15 from the ruling party could head to the national capital shortly.
One of the MLAs camping in Delhi, Vinay Jaiswal, told the media that around 26 MLAs are in the national capital on “personal visit", and there is no show of strength or political purpose.
Speculations are rife over the Baghel camp, which had paraded in New Delhi in August, allegedly once again trying to exert pressure on the party high command. Several mayors have accompanied MLAs or have extended support to the Chief Minister.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Baghel has refuted claims of his exerting pressure on the high command. “Why can’t anyone go anywhere. Let’s not see their personal visit through political glasses," Baghel told the media in Raipur early on Friday.
However, the TS Singh Deo camp is in wait and watch mode even as the state health minister has affirmed faith in the party.
Slamming MLA Brahaspat Singh for remarks against him, Singh Deo called CM Bhagel and Singh ‘Jai-Veeru’. Referring to himself, the health minister said there is no lack of faith as there was no question of him joining the BJP.
He also said that the situation should not be seen as a tug of war but as a possibility. Continuing his cryptic take, Sing Deo said the high command had summoned everyone and has reserved the final verdict.
State party head Mohan Markam is also likely facing a dilemma. Asked about indiscipline and frequent Delhi visits of the leaders, he said that everything is in the knowledge of the party leadership and called for waiting for the appropriate time. He quoted senior leaders saying there is no moratorium on the MLAs movement.
Tensions rose in Chhattisgarh after the Congress high command replaced Capt Amarinder Singh with Charanjit Singh Channi as Chief Minister of Punjab.
Simmering tension had gripped the state as Bhupesh Baghel completed his two-and-a-half-year tenure as Chief Minister in June and triggering rumours regarding the change of guard as per the 2.5-years power-sharing formula.