BJP, other parties contacted me, tried to convince me to switch over, but I won’t quit Congress: TS Singh Deo


RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh Health Minister T S Singh Deo, who is considered a bête noire of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, on Wednesday claimed that several parties, including the BJP, contacted him and tried to convince him to switch over, but he does not intend to quit the ruling Congress.

He made the claim when the Assembly elections in the state are just a few months away.

Locked in a power tussle with CM Baghel, Singh Deo had in July last year resigned from the Panchayat and Rural Development ministry, hinting that he was sidelined in the government. But he continued to hold four other portfolios – Health and Family Welfare, Medical Education, Twenty Point Implementation and Commercial Tax (GST) departments. Responding to a query by reporters whether the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was running ‘Operation Lotus’ in the state and trying to convince him to join the force, Singh Deo confirmed that BJP leaders did contact him.

”It is not about ‘Operation Lotus’. Every political party, which finds some scope, tries to take an initiative. But I will neither leave the Congress, nor will I join any other party. Whatever responsibility the (Congress) party gives to me, I will carry it out,” Singh Deo said.

But it is true that many parties did contact me, he added.

On Tuesday, during a convention of the Congress’s regional party workers in Ambikapur, Singh Deo said that some BJP leaders and politicians from the third front were in touch with him and tried to convince him to join their sides, said Surguja district Congress president Rakesh Gupta, who attended the convention. ”During the convention, Singh Deo said that I would sit at home rather than joining BJP,” Gupta said.

After the convention, Singh Deo told reporters that he has cleared his stand to the Congress leadership.

Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Congress president Mohan Markam said Singh Deo was a senior leader of the party. ”The BJP tried to lure him, but he (Singh Deo) is a true soldier of the Congress party. BJP’s Operation Lotus will not succeed in Chhattisgarh,” he said.

Assembly elections will be held in Chhattisgarh by the end of this year.


Source: Press Trust of India

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