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Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel tears up after Congress gets new chief : Watch Video

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday appointed tribal leader Mohan Markam head of the party’s Chhattisgarh unit, replacing Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.

Significantly, the AICC press statement naming Markam as the Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee chief said “Congress president has appointed” instead of the “AICC” that was being used in party statements effecting organisational changes since Gandhi’s decision to quit as party head.

“Congress president has appointed Mohan Markam as the new president of Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee with immediate effect. The party appreciates the contributions of outgoing PCC president Bhupesh Baghel,” the AICC statement signed by general secretary organisation K C Venugopal said.

Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel’s eyes were filled with tears while speaking at the event organised for passing the post of President of Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee (CPCC) to Mohan Markam.

Congress leader PL Punia and newly appointed CPCC president Markam were also present at the event held on Saturday.

In his speech, Baghel thanked all party leaders who worked with him over the past five years and remembered their contribution to the party in Chhattisgarh.

“I was appointed to the post by Rahul Gandhiji after we lost the elections in 2013. 2014 Lok Sabha elections were near. We were worried about the party’s prospects in the state after the 2014 elections. The fight we party leaders started after June 2014 continued till the time we came to power in Chhattisgarh,” Baghel said.

He praised the newly appointed CPCC President by saying Markam was a “hardworking and simple man”.

Markam’s elevation to the post comes at a time when the party is coming to terms with its debacle in the Lok Sabha polls in which it could win just two parliamentary seats from the state despite coming to power with a massive mandate in the December assembly poll.

Markam is a prominent tribal face of the party in the state and commands influence not only in his home region of Bastar but also in other adivasi-dominated areas.

A two-time MLA from Bastar’s Kondagaon Assembly constituency (ST reserved), Markam has been vocal in raising pro-farmer and pro-tribal issues.

Markam, the first tribal leader to be appointed as the congress party chief in the state, rose to prominence after the 2013 Assembly election when he defeated BJP’s Lata Usendi, a minister and woman tribal leader, from Kondagaon.

He succeeds Baghel, who said last week that he has asked Gandhi to appoint someone to head the state unit as he has his hands full as the chief minister.


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