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Baghel appointed UP poll observer after Assam debacle

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New Delhi: Amid political turmoil in his own state over change in the leadership and despite his decimal performance in 2021 in Assam Assembly elections, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has been appointed as a senior observer for the upcoming Assembly election in Uttar Pradesh. He was entrusted with the responsibility by All India Congress Committee General Secretary K C Venugopal.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi is overall in-charge of Uttar Pradesh and managing the election from strategy to implementation. Now, Baghel has been roped in to oversee the Congress party’s performance in the upcoming elections in UP, the role he played during the Assam elections as well.

Baghel is unable to take the entire party along in a tiny state like Chhattisgarh as one of his cabinet colleague and health minister T S Singh Deo has opened the front against him and instead of managing things his own, the matter has reached to the party high command. Interestingly over a dozen Chhattisgarh MLAs are camping in Delhi to tell central leadership not to change the guard in the state.

Both T S Singh Deo and CM Bhupesh Baghel are staking claims to the post of Chief Minister in the state and over a dozen Congress MLAs are camping in Delhi. They have asserted being united and wanted to meet party leaders for reasons unrelated to the tussle. Sources believe that the MLAs have gone in batches to showcase their support for the CM if the need for the same arises.

Meanwhile, the new development of appointing Baghel as AICC’s senior observer for Uttar Pradesh elections which is likely to held in February 202 has certain meaning. Political analysts feel that the appointment of Baghel in the middle of this tussle is being seen as a clear message for him. Sources in the Congress said that Baghel is being given more opportunities for him to explore. He was responsible for the party’s performance during the Assam elections as well. Despite the party not making a mark there, he is now being given the charge of the party’s performance in UP, which has bigger stakes in place. The Congress was the rival of the BJP in Assam but in Uttar Pradesh, the party has lost its entire vote bank to regional parties and reviving that is a herculean task.

The incumbent Chhattisgarh CM had addressed 38 rallies in Assam, spending a month there along with several of his team with all resources, who had spent longer in Assam working on booth level as well. But despite Baghel’s intervention and an alliance with regional parties, the Congress managed a vote share of only 20% after the election, much like in 2016. The Congress-led coalition managed to get 50 seats out of the 126 in the 2021 election. While in 2016 the Congress party won 26 seats of the 122 contested, in 2021, it won 29 of the 90 it contested. Interestingly, it appears to be a message for Baghel not for voters.

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Maharashtra government tells HC, Param Bir Singh non-traceable

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Call me “Dada”, not “Sir”, Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb to employees

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Agartala: In what appears to be a step to boost the morale of the government employees, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday asked the government employees to call him “Dada” instead of “Sir”. “Call me Dada, not sir. It enhances the warmth of the relationship”, Deb told a gathering of government employees.

Deb exhorted the government employees of the state especially ASHA and Anganwadi workers of the state asking them not to dishearten as the state government was eager to improve their pay structure.

“I salute the ASHA and Anganwadi workers of my state. The level of dedication that my sisters have shown during the pandemic period deserved applause. I know, they want to hear good news from me and I am assuring you all that this government will not disappoint anyone”, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told a gathering of government employees at Badharghat sports school field organized by Vivekananda Vicha Manch (VVM).

VVM has emerged as a big platform of government employees, of late, and Sunday’s public rally was its first big gathering to thank the Chief Minister for the series of steps his government took for the welfare of the employees.

“I know what challenges you people are facing. Nothing is hidden in front of me. I am assuring you all everything will be taken care of in the due course of time”, he added.  Lauding the efforts of government employees Deb said, without them no government office can function.

“Due to the efforts of government employees, people can access the benefits of the state sponsored welfare schemes. But, for a prolonged period the employees did not get their right to do something freely. They were trapped in the clutches of unions. In the previous regime, Left sponsored unions used to enjoy supreme power which had reduced the whole work culture of the state to tatters. In 2018, you people showed courage and voted BJP to power”, said Deb.

“Despite fund constraints, the state government is positively working on the issues of DA and other factors pertaining to the interest of the government employees. Our government has already addressed a number of issues related to financial benefits. The ad-hoc promotion, increment for Group D, Group C employees, regularization of SSA teachers, seventh pay scale, UGC scale for professors, special benefit for LTC are to name a few. All these indicate what we want to do and we shall do what we promise”, the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister also asked the officials not to call him “sir” suggesting them to refer to him as “Dada” as it makes the relationship stronger and cherished. The Chief Minister also distributed clothes among children of Badharghat sports school during the programme. State BJP President Manik Saha, Minister Ram Prasad Paul, Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, MLA Mimi Majumder, state BJP Vice President and president of Vivekananda Vichar Manch Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke on the occasion.

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