New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Following a turmoil in Punjab after the sudden resignation of Navjot Singh Sidhu, a crisis is brewing for the Congress in Chhattisgarh among the factions of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Tribhuvaneshwar Saran Singh Deo with the latter's camp demanding a leadership change in the state.

Amid this, 20 party MLAs, known for their closeness with Baghel, are campaigning in Delhi in what is being seen as a show of strength. However, Baghel has downplayed the visit of the MLAs, saying "Chhattisgarh will not become Punjab".

"Chhattisgarh will always remain Chhattisgarh. It cannot become Punjab. The two states have only one similarity that both have numbers in their names," Baghel was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. "Punjab is the land of 'punj' (five) 'aab' (water). It is made up of five rivers. Similarly, Chhattisgarh has derived its name from 'chhattis' (thirty-six) 'garh' (fort). No other states have numbers in their names. There is no other similarity between the two states".

Why a crisis is brewing for Congress in Chhattisgarh?

Back in 2018, Singh Deo had demanded a rotational Chief Ministership in Chhattisgarh after the grand old party returned to power in the state, ending the 15-year Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rule in the state. The Congress back then had promised this to Singh Deo after which he was inducted into the Chhattisgarh cabinet.

In June this year, Baghel's government completed 2.5 years in the office after which Singh Deo demanded a leadership change in the state. However, Baghel sparked controversy in June and claimed that some leaders, who are talking about the 2.5 formula, are trying to bring instability in the state.

What Congress is doing to solve the crisis in Chhattisgarh?

Congress has denied any feud among the state party unit. However, it has summoned both Baghel and Singh Deo to Delhi multiple times since June to resolve the crisis in the state. Recently, the party also introduced four additional office-bearers in its state unit and replaced four vice presidents, three general secretaries and the head of the communication department.

The four vice presidents, namely Girish Devangan, Atal Shrivastava, Bhanu Pratap Singh, and Padma Manhar were replaced by Arun Singhania, PR Khunte, Ambika Markam and Vani Rao. Meanwhile, Vasudev Yadav, Amarjeet Chawala, and Sumitra Dhritlahre have also replaced three General Secretaries -- Dwarka Prasad Yadav, Uttam Vasudev, and Pankaj Sharma.

It must be mentioned that the party has also appointed Baghel as its ICC senior observer for Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections 2022. Sources, quoted by news agency ANI, said that the changes were made following the "One Leader One Post" formula.

At present, it looks like Baghel has managed to save himself. However, there has been constant speculation over the matter.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma