Chhattisgarh: TS Singh Deo's purported supporter heckled during speech

Differences within Chhattisgarh Congress spilled out in the open again on Sunday when a party leader, considered as a supporter of state Health Minister TS Singh Deo, was allegedly stopped and heckled while he was delivering a speech during a convention of party workers in Jashpur district.AICCs secretary in-charge of Chhattisgarh Saptagiri Ulaka was also present at the event.A video of the purported incident shows former Jashpur district Congress president Pawan Agrawal addressing the function from the stage.


PTI | Jashpur | Updated: 24-10-2021 22:15 IST | Created: 24-10-2021 22:15 IST
Chhattisgarh: TS Singh Deo's purported supporter heckled during speech
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Differences within Chhattisgarh Congress spilled out in the open again on Sunday when a party leader, considered as a supporter of state Health Minister TS Singh Deo, was allegedly stopped and heckled while he was delivering a speech during a convention of party workers in Jashpur district.

AICC's secretary in-charge of Chhattisgarh Saptagiri Ulaka was also present at the event.

A video of the purported incident shows former Jashpur district Congress president Pawan Agrawal addressing the function from the stage. Suddenly another leader, Iftikhar Hasan, is seen trying to snatch a mike from Agrawal and pushing him away.

The convention was held in a community hall in Jashpur town, located around 400 km away from Raipur. Agrawal said he was allegedly heckled and manhandled by Hasan and others when he questioned the delay in elevating TS Singh Deo as chief minister as per the purported power-sharing agreement during his speech. “As a Jashpur Congress president from 2013 till 2018 end, I worked extensively for the party in the district. In the 2018 assembly elections, Congress snatched all three seats- Pathalgaon, Jashpur and Kunkuri from the district from BJP. After the assembly elections, I was removed from the post of district president despite my efforts for the party's victory,” Agrawal told PTI over the phone.

He claimed the agreement of rotational chief ministership was made when Congress came to power in 2018.

“After the completion of half of the five-year term of (incumbent chief minister) Bhupesh Baghel, why there is a delay in replacing him with Singh Deo ji? I was raising the same issue in front of Ulaka ji. But supporters of Baghel attacked me on the stage,” he said.

Kunkuri MLA UD Minj, Jashpur MLA Vinay Kumar Bhagat, Jashpur district Congress president Manoj Sagar Yadav was also present on the stage, he said.

Meanwhile, Hasan refuted Agrawal's claim.

The Chhattisgarh BJP also shared the video clip on Twitter with a post saying the incident reflects the culture of the Congress party. “There was a fight on the stage during the Congress event.. Congress culture was seen. In the race for the chair in @INCChhattisgarh, now there is a fight too! When the leader reminded Rahul Gandhi of the promise of a two and a half years formula, he was assaulted in front of the in-charge,” the state BJP tweeted. The tussle for power between Baghel and Singh Deo appears to have quietened at the top, but the feud is very much visible at the lower level in the ruling Congress.

Last month, a local unit of the Congress in Bilaspur had demanded the expulsion of a party MLA after he protested against the registration of a police case against another local leader, a supporter of Singh Deo. The demand for a change of guard was renewed after Baghel completed two-and-a-half years as chief minister in June 2021. The Singh Deo camp claimed the high command in 2018 had agreed to hand over the post to him after the government completed half its term.

It appeared that Baghel had won that round when he told reporters upon return that party leader Rahul Gandhi had agreed to visit the state 'on his invitation', and those talking about rotating the CM's post were promoting political instability.

However, Singh Deo had said the decision on the leadership change lies with the party high command.

Several Congress MLAs, considered close to Baghel, had visited Delhi multiple times in the past two months apparently to express solidarity to the CM.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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