On Thursday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) moved a no-confidence motion against the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel-led Congress government in the state assembly. The motion comes amid speculations of a rift between the CM and senior colleague TS Singh Deo, which the BJP claims accounts for a “constitutional crisis” as the latter reportedly resigned citing reasons such as being sidelined, expressing no confidence in the state government.
The Congress enjoys a comfortable majority in the state, with 71 MLAs in a 90-member legislative assembly, followed by 14 from the BJP, three from Janta Congress Chhattisgarh, and two MLAs from the Bahujan Samaj Party. The opposing BJP moved the no-confidence motion on the second day of the monsoon session of the state legislature, and the motion was led by the leader of the opposition Dharam Lal Kaushik. The leader informed that the BJP had submitted a no-confidence motion against the Congress government, accusing them of failing on all fronts, including maintaining the law and improving farmers’ welfare.
Reportedly, the BJP was also able to gain access to TS Singh Deo’s letter of resignation to the CM, sent on July 16, indicating that he was vacating his position as the Panchayat and Rural Development Minister, one of his four portfolios. In the four-page letter, Singh Deo said that he was being sidelined, and had lost faith in the state government. He also complained about “active non-cooperation” for funds to the Panchayat and Rural Development Ministry. The letter, reportedly, also expressed dissatisfaction with the appointment of a committee headed by the chief secretary, to approve projects under his discretionary budget. The senior Congress leader also said that there have been disagreements on crucial matters of governance.
“There was a constitutional crisis in the state as a minister has expressed no confidence in his own government,” said Kaushik. The no-confidence notice read: “A minister has levelled allegations against the CM. As per constitutional arrangements, the cabinet and the executive are answerable to the legislature but the state government has failed on this front.” Reportedly, the BJP also demanded an explanation from the CM on the issue, and asserted that there is a “constitutional crisis” in the light of such events.
On the other hand, last Sunday, on July 17 , Baghel indicated that he had not received Singh Deo’s resignation letter, and that he was made aware of it via media reports. Chhattisgarh Assembly Speaker Charan Das Mahant has scheduled a discussion on the motion, on July 27.
Yesterday, the charge of the Panchayat and Rural Development portfolio was reassigned to Singh Deo’s cabinet colleague Ravindra Choubey. Meanwhile, he still remains the Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Medical Education, and Twenty Point Implementation and Commercial Tax (GST).