Congress leader Mohan Markam, who was replaced as the party’s Chhattisgarh unit president a day ago, will be made a cabinet minister, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said on Thursday.
Markam (56), a prominent tribal leader in the state, where Assembly polls are due by the year-end, will take oath on Friday. Earlier in the day, School Education Minister Premsai Singh Tekam submitted his resignation.
Talking to reporters here, Baghel said the "resignation of minister Presmsai Singh Tekam ji has been accepted and Mohan Markam ji will take oath as a minister on Friday."
A letter has been sent to the Raj Bhavan requesting to fix the schedule for Markam's swearing-in, he said.
Asked about reshuffling in portfolios of ministers, the CM said when a new minister is appointed such things naturally happen.
Tekam, a senior tribal leader from north Chhattisgarh, said he had resigned from his post on the party's direction. His resignation facilitated the entry of Markam into the cabinet.
A two-time MLA from Kondagaon, a Scheduled Tribe reserved seat in the Bastar region, Markam had been leading the Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee since June 2019.
He was the first tribal president of the state Congress after Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in November 2000.
On Wednesday, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge appointed MP Deepak Baij, who represents the Bastar Lok Sabha constituency, as the party’s Chhattisgarh unit chief replacing Markam, who also hails from the same region.
Markam came to limelight when he defeated BJP’s powerful minister and prominent woman tribal leader Lata Usendi in the 2013 Assembly elections from Kondagaon.
Markam had contested the Assembly elections for the first time on a Congress ticket against Usendi in 2008, but at that time he had lost. In 2018, he defeated Usendi for the second time from Kondagaon.
Born at Tedmunda village under Makdi tehsil of Kondagaon district on September 15, 1967, Markam has been active in politics since his student days.
A few days ago, Congress leader T S Singh Deo, a key member of the Baghel cabinet, was appointed as Deputy Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh.