Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday said that he had not yet received state minister TS Singh Deo’s resignation and that he only got to know of it from the media, PTI reported.
Deo on Saturday resigned from the panchayat and rural development minister. However, he continues to hold the portfolios of health and family welfare, medical education, twenty-point implementation and commercial tax.
Deo has been locked in a turf war with Baghel since June 2021. Deo’s supporters claim that there had been an agreement under which he would be the chief minister for two-and-a-half years.
Baghel on Sunday said that he tried to call Deo on Saturday night but to no avail. “I got to know about it [Deo’s resignation] from the media,” he told reporters, according to ANI. “There’s absolute coordination and whatever issues are there, they can be discussed by sitting together.”
Deo claimed in his resignation letter that he was unable to meet the panchayat and rural development department’s targets mentioned in the Congress’s election manifesto due to the “current scenario”.
He also claimed that not a single house was built for homeless persons under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana because funds were not allocated despite repeated requests.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Amit Malviya claimed that Deo was unhappy with Baghel as he had “blocked media from covering or inviting him to functions”. The BJP leader remarked that it was “Punjab all over again” for the Congress in Chhattisgarh.
Malviya was seemingly referring to former Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s rebellion against former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, during which he demanded a more prominent role in the Congress. The two leaders publicly criticised each other for months before Sidhu was appointed the Congress’ chief in Punjab on July 18, 2021.
Amarinder Singh resigned as the chief minister on September 18 and subsequently formed the Punjab Lok Congress party.
The Congress lost the 2022 Punjab Assembly election to the Aam Aadmi Party, after which Sidhu resigned as the party’s state chief.