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Bhupesh Baghel is the present Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh. Apart from being the third CM of the state, he is also the state chief of the Indian National Congress. An MLA representing the Patan seat multiple times, Baghel earlier served as the Deputy Leader of Opposition in the Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly from 2003 to 2008. In Undivided Madhya Pradesh, he was a Cabinet minister in the Digvijaya Singh-led government.
Seen as man on a mission, Bhupesh Baghel has adopted a rather stern style of working to fulfil his poll promises. Instead of relying on bureaucrats or party veterans, he has handpicked four advisors who form his innermost circle.
Apart from working on his headline-grabbling poll promises, Baghel has overhauled the governance structure in Chhattisgarh since coming to power in late 2018. He has so far transferred 42 IAS officers and rejigged the top brass of the state police.
Baghel has been credited with the Congress' landslide victory in Chhattisgarh Assembly election 2018. Under his leadership, the Congress managed to win 68 seats in the 90-member state Assembly and ended the Bharatiya Janata Party’s 15-year rule in the state with Raman Singh as CM. The BJP managed to win only 15 seats.
With an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Baghel-led Congress government in Chhattisgarh has doled out more than Rs 20,000 crore worth of freebies for farmers and the middle class. After the 2018 Assembly election result, it will be interesting to watch how Baghel can help the Congress sway Chhattisgarh voters in his party’s favour in the national elections.