The story of the Congress in Chhattisgarh was marked by failures. It lost three consecutive state assembly elections, and was out of power from 2003 to 2018. It also tragically lost almost its entire state leadership in a targeted Maoist terror attack.
From the ruins of these setbacks, Bhupesh Baghel led a comeback for the party in this crucial central Indian state in 2018. Baghel, who served as a minister in the united Madhya Pradesh in the 1990s, and then in Chhattisgarh when it was newly formed in 2000, was given charge of the Congress in the state in 2014.
He expanded the party’s social base, led sustained movements against the Raman Singh-led government, worked together with other leaders overcoming factionalism, and delivered a big win for the party in the 2018 assembly polls. As chief minister, Baghel says he wants to build an alternative socioeconomic model, which prioritises the marginalised, especially tribals, and gives them control over natural resources.