Will discuss with T S Singhdeo, says Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel


RAIPUR: A day after Chhattisgarh‘s senior minister T S Singhdeo announced he was relinquishing one of his major portfolios, saying he wasn’t taken into confidence in key matters of his own department, chief minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday said he was yet to receive any communication but he would discuss the issue with him.
Talking to reporters here, Baghel said he came to know from the media about Singhdeo’s decision to give up the panchayat and rural development portfolio. “I have not yet received any communication. The issue will be examined,” he added.
“I tried to contact him over the telephone yesterday but could not reach him. Will discuss the matter with him,” the chief minister said in an apparent indication that efforts are on to downplay the issue of a senior minister giving up an important portfolio.
AICC general secretary P L Punia, who is in charge of Chhattisgarh affairs, refused to say anything about the development while state Congress president Mohan Markam and other ministers are keeping silent.
On Saturday, Singhdeo stunned the ruling Congress by “relinquishing” his panchayat and rural development portfolio on Saturday evening.
In a four-page letter to CM Baghel, he said he was dismayed to see that the draft he had sent for implementation of the PESA Act had been changed without his knowledge.
In his letter, he pointed out that the Congress election manifesto had promised to implement PESA in its true spirit. “The department forwarded the draft to the cabinet committee. But crucial points pertaining to Jal, Jungle, and Jameen were found to be changed in the precis for the cabinet. Perhaps, such a thing happened for the first time. Not taking the minister concerned into confidence in such matters sets a wrong precedent. I have written a separate letter to you in this regard,” Singhdeo had written to the CM.
It’s almost exactly a year since a power tussle erupted between Singhdeo and Baghel over a purported agreement for a mid-term change in guard. At that time, there was intense speculation that Singhdeo was pressing for rotational chief ministership after the completion of two and a half years.
Legislators supporting Baghel flew to Delhi twice. There were hectic parleys between CM Baghel, Singhdeo and senior leaders in the Congress high command. After several rounds of discussion, Baghel told the media that Rahul Gandhi would visit Chhattisgarh soon, while Singhdeo maintained that the party high command had ‘reserved’ its decision. TNN





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