Chhattisgarh Election: Four Key Congress Contenders For Chief Minister's Post

The process to select the next Chhattisgarh chief minister seems to be underway and a decision could be announced as early as Wednesday by the Congress.

Chhattisgarh Election: Four Key Congress Contenders For Chief Minister's Post

One of the key contenders TS Singhdeo had said chief minister will be selected through a "Swayamvar".


When the Congress was running a feisty campaign to return to power in Chhattisgarh after 15 long years, it was often asked about its face against the saffron party's longest-serving chief minister Raman Singh. Armed with a big majority now, the grand old party has quite a few options.

TS Singhdeo -- scion of an erstwhile royal family, leader of Opposition in the outgoing assembly and a key contender for the top post -- said during the poll campaign that the chief minister would be selected through a "Swayamvar".

The process to select the chosen one seems to be underway and a decision could be announced as early as Wednesday about who would be the next chief minister -- the second for the state from the Congress.

The Congress had formed the first government of the state after it was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in 2000, but its then chief minister Ajit Jogi has since then left the party and fought the latest assembly polls in alliance with Maywati's BSP as the third force in an otherwise direct fight between the two national parties -- the BJP and Congress.

The "Swayamvar" is also likely to have Tamradhwaj Sahu, the single Congress MP from the state, while the state Congress chief Bhupehsh Baghel and former union minister Charandas Mahant are also there.


Assembly Elections 2018 Live Results : Chhattisgarh

The party has significantly improved its tally to get a clear majority in the 90-member assembly and its vote share has also improved to 43.2 per cent.

Mr Singhdeo was the main architect of the Congress party's poll manifesto, which he said was made after feedback from about 80,000 people from across the state. He had said the winning MLAs and the party high-command will choose the leader.

"There are many good people in the party who have done very good work. So there will be a 'Swayamvar' after the poll victory," he had said.

The other key contender, Mr Sahu comes from an influential community that accounts for 14 per cent of the state's population and is chairman of the party's OBC cell.

He was given the job of mobilising backward community voters who had largely favoured the BJP in the 2013 polls.

The other two prominent candidates for the top post, Mr Baghel and Mr Mahant too hail from OBC communities, but Mr Sahu's non-controversial and clean image goes in his favour, some party leaders said.

In case of Mr Singhdeo, his considerable following in northern part of the state (Surguja) is a big positive, besides the confidence he commands of the party high command.

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