Baghel sworn in as Chhattisgarh CM amid heavy rain

Against a backdrop of unity and camaraderie, Chhattisgarh Governor Anandiben Patel administered the oath of office and secrecy to Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.

State Congress leaders TS Singh Deo and Tamradhwaj Sahu were also sworn-in as ministers at the ceremony which was scaled down in size due to intermittent rains in state capital Raipur.

The swearing-in ceremony was scheduled to be held at the Science College Grounds before continuing showers forced the administration to shift the venue.

A bevy of leaders including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot, Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy attended the ceremony held at the Balbir Singh indoor stadium.

Gandhi also extended his greetings to former chief minister and BJP stalwart Raman Singh who was present on the occasion.

Baghel, third chief minister of the tribal-dominated state, now heads the first elected Congress government in Chhattisgarh since it was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in 2000.

While Ajit Jogi had helmed the first Congress government in the state, formed by virtue of larger numerical strength in the bifurcated house, Singh had led the BJP to three consecutive victories in 2003, 2008 and 2013.

Credited with engineering a Congress revival, Baghel and Singh Deo led the party to victory in the recently concluded elections for the 90 member Assembly; thus bringing to an end a 15-year BJP rule in the state.

The Congress on Sunday named Baghel to head the state Congress Legislature Party. Baghel, who took charge as Congress state president Congress after 2013 assembly polls, was credited for the massive victory of the party in the recent Assembly polls where Congress won 68 seats in the 90-member House.

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