Raipur: ‘Will carve new Chhattisgarh’, was the first reaction of the state Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel after his party won a euphoric mandate and having been nominated the Chief Minister-designate now, he can fulfil his vision with utmost authority.
Taking to micro-blogging social website Twitter, he had written just three words in the regional dialect, “Gadhbo Nava Chhattisgarh.” Roughly translated, it meant “will make new Chhattisgarh”.
Baghel indeed is rightfully being touted as the architect of the Congress’s win in the state after he revived the party in a state which was out of hold for 15 years.
The 57-year-old leader, who belongs to a farmer’s family, started his political career with the Congress in 1980s.
He belongs to the ‘Kurmi’ caste of the Other Backward Class, one of the significant factors that was taken into consideration while selecting him as the chief minister.
His political career began with the Indian Youth Congress and became the district president of Durg. In 1994, he went on to become the state vice-president of Madhya Pradesh Youth Congress.
He was appointed as Chhattisgarh state Congress chief in the year 2014.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi had given him the reins of Chhattisgarh and he fulfilled the responsibility by restricting BJP to only 15 seats while winning an euphoric mandate for the Congress with 68 seats out of 90.
Baghel was Congress poster boy for the Assembly election this time and registered a win from the Patan constituency with a margin of 27,477 votes.
Considered a fierce and vigorous politician, Baghel began reviving the Congress in state by first targeting the municipal elections.
He has served as a state minister earlier and has also been a former deputy leader of the Congress Legislature Party during the first tenure of BJP from 2003-2008.
In past, he has been a part of the cabinet in undivided Madhya Pradesh.
Baghel also had his fair share of controversies. A three-fold increase in his assets, as declared by him in his latest election affidavit, had led to many questions being raised by the Opposition.
The leader currently out on bail was arrested by the CBI for allegedly distributing a fake sleaze video of a BJP politician. The CM designate has, however, denied these charges and has termed the criminal cases filed against him as politically motivated.