Raipur: Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel was on Monday sworn in as the chief minister of Chhattisgarh. MLAs TS Singh Deo and Tamradhwaj Sahu, who were front-runners for the CM's post, were sworn in as ministers.
Governor Anandiben Patel administered the oath of office and secrecy to Baghel, 57, and the two during the swearing-in ceremony at the Balbeer Juneja Indoor Stadium here.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were among the leaders from across the political spectrum who attended the event. Others present included AICC general secretary Mallikarjun Kharge, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, his deputy Sachin Pilot, Puducherry CM V Narayansamy, MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav. Baghel's predecessor Raman Singh was also present.
The Congress on Sunday named Baghel, a five-time MLA from Patan, to head the state Congress Legislature Party. Baghel, who took charge as Congress state president after 2013 assembly polls, was credited for the massive victory of the party in the recent Assembly polls where Congress won 68 seats in the 90-member House.
The BJP, which was in power in the state since 2003, bagged just 15 seats in the elections.
Baghel played a key role in reviving the party which had suffered three consecutive defeats in the assembly polls. Baghel, who hails from Kurmi OBC community, has become the third person to be the chief minister of the state. Prior to him, Raman Singh had served as CM in the BJP government for three consecutive terms starting from 2003.
After the formation of Chhattisgarh state in 2000, Ajit Jogi had become the first chief minister of the state leading a Congress government from 2000 to 2003. A scion of erstwhile royal family of Surguja, Deo is a three-time MLA from Surguja seat. Congress MP from Durg Lok Sabha seat Tamradhwaj Sahu has been elected from Durg Rural assembly seat in the recently held polls.