New Delhi: Union Minister Charan Das Mahant was on Monday appointed as the acting chief of Congress’ Chhattisgarh unit.

Former state Minister Bhupesh Baghel has been made the programme coordinator of the Chhattisgarh PCC with immediate effect.

Several party leaders including state unit chief Nand Kumar Patel and Mahendra Karma were killed in the May 30 massacre in Naxal-hit Bastar district. The attack had left 37 others injured including former Union Minister VC Shukla.

As an OBC leader, Mahant had emerged as one of the strongest contender to lead the party in the forthcoming election. In 2009, he had become the lone Congress MP from Chhattisgarh, winning the Korba Lok Sabha seat.

Cong will win C'garh polls: Mahant

The sacrifices of Congress leaders in Bastar's naxal attack would not go in vain and Congress would win the Assembly polls slated by year end, Mahant said.

"Martyrdom of late PCC chief Nand Kumar Patel and other party leaders would not go in vain. We will continue his (Patel's) efforts to form Congress government in the state and will definitely make the government after the next Assembly polls," he said.

Expressing gratitude towards Congress high command forgiving him the state unit charge, he said further strategies of the party will be chalked out soon. "I am heartily thankful to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president for giving me a crucial charge in such a situation. Further strategies will be worked out very soon," Mahant said.

When asked about the reshuffle in party's state unit ahead of the Assembly polls, he said, "I want to continue with the same team."

Ruling out conflict among the partymen, he said, "There can be some differences, but we always fight together when BJP is against us."

(Agencies)

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