|Bhupesh Kumar Baghel
|Physical Stats & More
|in centimeters- 175 cm
in meters- 1.75 m
in feet inches- 5’ 9”
|Salt and Pepper
|Indian National Congress (INC)
|• Joined Indian Youth Congress (IYC) (1985)
• Became the President of District Youth Congress in Durg (1990-1994)
• Elected to Madhya Pradesh Assembly from Patan constituency (1993)
• Became a member of the All India Congress Committee
• Served as General Secretary and Program Coordinator in the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee
• Became Vice-President of Madhya Pradesh Youth Congress (1994-1995)
• Re-elected to Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly form Patan (1998)
• Appointed Minister the Public Grievance Department (1998)
• Became Minister of Transport (1999)
• Member of the Estimates Committee of the Aviation Department
• Member of the Consultative Committee of the Aviation Department
• Appointed chairman of Madhya Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (January 2000)
• Became the first Minister for Revenue, Public Health Engineering, and relief (2000-2003)
• Became a member of Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly from the Patan constituency (2003)
• Appointed as the deputy leader of opposition (2003-2008)
• Contested and lost the Parliamentary Election from the Durg Lok Sabha constituency (2004)
• Contested and lost the Chhattisgarh Vidhan Sabha elections from the Patan constituency (2008)
• Contested and lost the Parliamentary Election from the Raipur Lok Sabha seat (2009)
• Contested and won the Chhattisgarh Vidhan Sabha elections from the Patan constituency (2013)
• Became President of Indian National Congress in Chhattisgarh (December 2014 - December 2019)
• Contested and won the Chhattisgarh Vidhan Sabha elections from the Patan constituency (2018)
• Appointed as the 3rd Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh (2018-2023)
• Held the charge of the departments of Finance, Mining, General Administration, Public Relations, and Electronics and Information Technology as CM
• Elected to Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly from Patan constituency (2023)
• Became Chairman of the State Planning Commission of Chhattisgarh
|Notable Schemes As CM
|During his time as the CM, Bhupesh became widely popular for introducing numerous successful policies and projects, which were adopted and implemented in several other states. Some of the schemes are-
• Narva, Garva, Ghurva, Bari – The initiative sought to boost water conservation, safeguard livestock, promote the utilization of organic compost from household waste, and engage in the cultivation of fruits and vegetables in home gardens for both personal use and earning extra income.
• Mukhymantri Haat Bazar Clinic Yojana – With the aim of providing medical care to the poor and the needy, especially the ones living in the tribal areas, the Chhattisgarh government implemented this scheme in 2019. Under the scheme, numerous vans with trained medical personnel were deployed in the markets, where people visited. Owing to successful implementation of this scheme, the World Health Organisation (WHO) produced a documentary on it.
• Chief Minister Dai-Didi Clinic Scheme – Under this scheme, the government focused on providing Medicare to the women living in the state. For this, numerous mobile units with a trained all-female medical staff was deployed. The scheme was a success as a result of which many adjoining states adopted the policy.
• Malaria Mukt Bastar Scheme – Initiated in 2020 in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, the program sought to perform Malaria tests on residents and offer free medical treatment to those affected. Before its launch, the region had the highest Annual Parasite Incidence (API), but a year later, it achieved the lowest API ranking.
• Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana (RGKNY) – Launched in May 2020, this initiative received an allocation of approximately Rs. 5700 crore from the state government, intended for distribution among farmers. The policy's primary goal was to incentivize farmers to increase production of key crops like paddy, sugarcane, maize, soya bean, pulses, and oilseeds during the Kharif season 2021-22, aiming to reduce the state's reliance on imported crops. The RGKNY scheme gave rise to various similar programs, including the Godhan Nyay Yojana and the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Bhumiheen Krishi Mazdoor Nyay Yojana (RGGBKMNY).
• Godhan Nyay Yojana – In July 2020, the Chhattisgarh government launched this scheme with the ambition of motivating farmers to adopt organic ways of farming to increase crop production. In the scheme, the government also purchased cow dung and cow urine at Rs. 2 and Rs. 4 per kg respectively. The cow dung was turned into vermicompost, while the cow urine was used to manufacture crop-friendly pest control products and natural liquid fertilizer. To initiate this scheme, the government set up industrial areas in the regions that had high Naxalite activities. This led to generation of employment in such areas, which resulted in the decrease in the recruitment of the people among the Naxal ranks. States such as Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and Odisha implemented this scheme as well.
• Mukhyamantri Suposhan Abhiyan – In October 2020, the government implemented this scheme with objective to work on eradicating malnutrition and cases of anaemia prevailing especially among females and kids. A similar initiative, called Suposhan Abhiyan, was put into effect in the regions of the state that suffered severely from the Naxalist movement. In it, medical professionals and nutritionists created personalized diet plans based on an individual's age and gender, while the government supplied affordable food rations to those in need. While giving an interview, Bhupesh talked about it and said,
"The campaign was intended to turn Chhattisgarh into a malnutrition and anaemic free – state in three years. We have secured very encouraging results under the scheme blending it with other integrated plans."
• Padhai Tuhar Dwar Scheme – This scheme was drafted to make the study material, including books and other stationary, available for children studying in schools during the COVID-19 lockdown in India. The government set up loudspeakers in various parts of the state to help the children in completing their syllabus. The government also partnered with various NGOs to set up Mohalla Classes throughout the state for providing a platform for teachers to deliver lessons to the kids near their homes.
• Swami Atmanand English Medium School Scheme – This scheme is a tribute to the social activist Swami Atmanand. It was implemented in November 2020. The administration established 52 schools in different parts of the state. These schools had infrastructure comparable to that of well-known private schools. The schools were basically set up to provide quality education to the kids belonging to BPL families. Several English medium colleges were set up by the authorities under this scheme with the intent of promoting higher education.
• The Ram Van Gaman Path Project - In this project, the Chhattisgarh government allocated Rs. 137.45 crore for a national project that focuses on tracing the route believed to have been taken by Lord Rama as per the Ramayana.
• Mukhyamantri Shahri Slum Swasthya Yojana – The scheme was aimed at giving free-of-cost medicare to the citizens of Chhattisgarh living in the slums. It was launched by the government in November 2020. The authorities deployed around 120 mobile medical vans with a professional and trained staff in various parts of the state.
• Mahtari Dular Yojana – In May 2021, this scheme was implemented. The ambition of the scheme was to give economical aid to the school-going children who lost their parents during the COVID-19 pandemic. As per the scheme, the government decided to credit Rs. 500 per month in the bank accounts of the kids studying classes 1 to 8 and Rs. 1000 in the bank accounts of the students studying in classes 9 to 12. The government also decided that it would bear the cost of educating these kids and would give preference to them during admission in the Swami Atmanand English Medium Schools.
• Mor Zameen-Mor Makaan Yojana – Bhupesh Baghel initiated this scheme by combining the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) with 19 other central and state-sponsored schemes. The objective was to offer modular homes to those in need. The Chhattisgarh government received the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Award in 2021 for this scheme.
|Awards & Honours
|• Mahatma Phule Samta Award from the All India Mahatma Phule Samta Parisha (2021)
• Honourary doctorate degree by the Sorbonne University for his special initiative to advance Chhattisgarh’s rural economy with limited utilization of local resources (2023)
• Honourary doctorate degree by the Hemchand Yadav Vishwavidyalaya (Durg University) (2023)
|Date of Birth
|23 August 1961 (Wednesday)
|Age (as of 2023)
|Durg, Madhya Pradesh, India (Now in Chhattisgarh)
|Higher Secondary School Marar Patan, Durg (1978)
|• Science College, affiliated with Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur
• Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur
|• BSc from Science College (1983) YouTube – UNFILTERED by Samdish
• Post-graduate degree in science from Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University (1986) MyNeta
|Kurmi Kshatriya (OBC)
|Mansarovar Awasiya Parisar, Bhilai-3, P.O. Bhilai-3, Tahsil Bhilai-3, District- Durg, Chhattisgarh, India
|Reading, Writing, Listening to Music
|Brief Details of IPCs
• 1 charge related to the punishment of criminal conspiracy (IPC Section-120B)
• 1 charge related to forgery for the purpose of harming reputation (IPC Section-469)
• 1 charge related to using as genuine a forged document or electronic record (IPC Section-471) MyNeta
Alleged Involvement in Sex CD Controversy
In October 2016, Chhattisgarh Police arrested journalist Vinod Verma in Ghaziabad based on a complaint filed by the then PWD Minister Rajesh Munat. Munat alleged that Verma demanded money, threatening to distribute a purportedly "fake" sex tape involving him to rival politicians. Law enforcement claimed to have recovered 500 copies of the tape. Verma, during questioning, disclosed the names of influential businessmen and Bhupesh Baghel. Later, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took over the case, leading to Baghel's arrest. The Economic Times Bhupesh defended himself by claiming his innocence. He also claimed that it was the Bharatiya Janata Party who implicated him in the case. He reportedly did not ask for a lawyer to defend him and went on a protest against the government. In October 2019, the Supreme Court intervened by putting a halt to the trial against Bhupesh. Aaj Tak While giving an interview, Bhupesh said,
"I am innocent. The government is implicating me after the black flag demonstration. The people of Chhattisgarh will reply to it."
Rice Mill Fraud
In 2023, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) alleged that, under Baghel's leadership, the Chhattisgarh government inflated payments to custom paddy millers, increasing the rate from Rs. 40 to Rs. 120 per quintal and resulting in kickbacks amounting to Rs. 175 crore. Bhupesh refuted the ED's accusations, criticizing the agency for allegedly aligning its actions with the BJP. The Hindu
The Liquor Fraud
The brother of Raipur Mayor and INC member Aijaz Dhebar, Anwar Dhebar, was taken into custody by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for his alleged involvement in the liquor scam in Chhattisgarh in 2019. Soon after his arrest, the BJP, in a press conference, claimed that Bhupesh Baghel, who was the CM of the state at the time, was well aware of the scam. The party also alleged that Anwar had given a commission of 15% of the income generated by the scam to several ministers serving in the Baghel cabinet. The Times of India Bhupesh claimed his innocence regarding the scam and said that the BJP aimed to damage his reputation among the voters before the 2023 Assembly elections. While giving an interivew, Bhupesh talked about it and said,
"These allegations have been levelled keeping in view the [Assembly] elections [due later this year]. They should disclose how much mobile and immobile assets have they seized. The [premises belonging to] the same set of people are raided by the IT Income Tax first and then the ED, but they do not issue a press note declaring that how much money was found in whose house. This is only a conspiracy of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to defame us."
Alleged Involvement in The Mahadev App Case
In November 2023, Bhupesh Baghel faced controversy when he was linked to the Mahadev betting app case. On 3 November 2023, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) alleged that the app's promoters, Sourabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal, paid bribes of Rs. 508 crores to Baghel. Hindustan Times Some sources, however, reported that Shubham Soni, a key figure in the case, had confessed in a video that he paid Rs. 508 crores to Baghel. India Today In the video, Soni mentioned that Baghel had encouraged him to establish his gambling business in Dubai; however, Baghel later responded to these allegations with a post on X and denied any connection with Soni. Baghel, moreover, stated that he had never met Soni and accused the ED of attempting to tarnish his reputation with baseless accusations. Bhupesh Baghel - X
|Relationships & More
|3 February 1982
Note: Wife's image in parents' section.
• Chaitanya Baghel (doctor, owns a real estate business)
• Dipti Baghel (assistant professor)
• Smita Baghel
• Divya Chandrakar
|Father- Nand Kumar Baghel (passed away on 8 January 2024; farmer, politician)
Mother- Bindeshwari Baghel
|He has two sisters. One of his sisters lives abroad.
|Father-in-law- Dr Narendra Dev Verma (famous writer)
Nephew- Vijay Baghel (BJP politician, member of the Lok Sabha)
|Sunil Gavaskar, Gundappa Viswanath
|Abhimaan (1973), Chupke Chupke (1975)
|Mahindra Alturas G4
|Salary as an MLA- Rs. 1,60,000 + other allowances (as of January 2024) News18
Income- Rs. 29,67,109 (in the financial year 2022-2023) MyNeta
• Cash: Rs. 8,36,325
• Deposits in Banks, Financial Institutions, and Non-Banking Financial Companies: Rs. 56,03,921
• Bonds, Debentures, and Shares in companies: Rs. 2,000
• LIC or other insurance Policies: Rs. 31,056
• Motor Vehicles: Rs. 38,20,286
• Jewellery: Rs. 5,85,000
• Agricultural Land: Rs. 19,26,32,206
• Residential Buildings: Rs. 93,07,038
Note: The given estimates of movable and immovable assets are according to the year 2023. It excludes the assets owned by his wife. MyNeta
|Net Worth (approx.)
Note: The given estimate is according to the year 2023. It excludes the net worth of wife. MyNeta
Some Lesser Known Facts About Bhupesh Baghel
- Bhupesh Baghel is an Indian politician, who is a member of the Indian National Congress (INC). He has served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of both Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. He served as Chattisgarh’s first Minister for Revenue, Public Health Engineering and Relief Work as well as its third Chief Minister. He made headlines when the Enforcement Directorate (ED) identified him as one of the individuals involved in the Mahadev App scam.
- According to Bhupesh, he started looking after his family’s farmland after passing class 5.
- In college, he joined the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI). While talking about his political career, in an interview, Bhupesh said that he took a keen interest in politics from an early age. He also said that he started his political career in the 80s under Chandulal Chandrakar.
- Bhupesh shifted to his native village in 1983 after he completed his graduation at the Science College in Durg. There, he worked on his family farm for some time.
- He was appointed as the patron of the Manva Kurmi Chhatriya Society of Chhattisgarh in 1993.
- He has organised mass marriage ceremonies to promote marriages with minimum expenditure.
- In Madhya Pradesh, he served as a member of the Food and Civil Supplies Corporation, director of the Housing Board, member of the Backward Classes Organization, and member of the Sainik Board.
- His term as an MLA of Madhya Pradesh ended after Chhattisgarh was formed in 2000.
- He served as the first Minister of Revenue, Public Health Engineering, and Relief Work of Chattisgarh.
- Bhupesh lost the 2008 Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly elections to Vijay Baghel, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate, by a margin of 7,842 votes.
- In the 2013 Chattisgarh Vidhan Sabha elections, he got 68,185 votes.
- Baghel’s selection as the President of the Chhattisgarh unit of the INC was at a time when the Maoists bombed and killed several influential state-level party politicians such as Mahendra Karma, Vidya Chharan Shukla, and Nand Kumar Patel. This resulted in a loss of morale of the party workers.
- After taking over as the Chief of the INC in Chhattisgarh, Baghel played a very pivotal role in uplifting the morale of the state-level INC workers. He started several “Padayaatras” in the state that resulted in the residents of the state, especially those living in the tribal areas, giving their support to the INC in the 2018 state assembly elections.
- He also worked on enhancing the image of the party that was severely impacted following the release of an audio tape of the first CM Ajit Pramod Kumar Jogi. A senior INC politician talked about his work as the party president, in an interview, and said,
Baghel led from the front working at the grassroots as well as coordinating with the central and state leaders. As state party president, he has worked very hard.”
- He got 9343 votes more than his closest opponent Motilal Sahu, a BJP politician, in the 2018 state assembly elections.
- After he became the Chief Minister in 2018, he passed an order, fulfilling his electoral mandate, to cancel the loans of the farmers in the state, which reportedly benefitted over 2 million farmers of Chhattisgarh. He also decreased the cost per unit of electricity consumption, nearly cutting it in half.
- His decision, as a CM, to stop employing teachers in government-run schools and colleges on an ad-hoc basis led to the generation of 15,000 vacancies for permanent teachers in the state.
- He also played a pivotal role in felicitating the return of the land to the Adivasis who lost their land to multi-national corporations due to a 2005 agreement signed between the then Chhattisgarh government and the MNCs.
- Despite promising to prohibit alcohol sales in the state in his 2018 election manifesto, Bhupesh, upon becoming Chief Minister, did not implement the ban. When questioned in an interview about his failure to fulfil his promise, Bhupesh claimed that he did not ban liquor after witnessing the harmful consequences of people resorting to locally produced dangerous liquor and abusing other substances, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown, as they were unable to obtain alcohol from government-approved shops. He further added,
I did not have the courage then to order a liquor ban after witnessing people dying due to the consumption of spurious alcohol and other substances during the lockdown. I don’t want to implement anything that will cost lives.”
- In 2019, he sent a mirror to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to reflect on it and face his “true self.”
- His biography titled Common Man Bhupesh Baghel was published by Pratik Umresh in 2020.
- During Bhupesh Baghel’s tenure as CM in 2021, Nand Kumar Baghel, his father, was arrested by the Chhattisgarh Police for calling the people belonging to the Brahmin community in India “foreigners.” Bhupesh, while responding to the journalists on their question regarding Nand’s comments, said that action against Nand will be taken according to the law and the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) will not interfere in the process. Bhupesh, in an interview, further said,
Nobody is above the law in my government, even if he is the Chief Minister’s 86-year-old father. As Chief Minister, I have the responsibility to maintain harmony among different communities. If he made a remark against a community, I am sorry. Legal action will be taken.”
- Bhupesh Baghel and Nand Kumar shared an estranged relationship. Reportedly, the reason why Bhupesh distanced himself from his father was because of his habit of issuing controversial statements in public.
- In 2021, Chhattisgarh was adjudged as the “Cleanest State” in India; the government was given a national award for it.
- In 2022, he launched the Chhattisgarhi Olympics intending to boost local and traditional sports like langdi, bhaura, bati (kancha), and pitthul. He talked about it, during a media interaction, and said,
These games are not only entertaining but also beneficial for maintaining good physical and mental health. In rural areas, children, elderly, and youth—all will engage in these games for entertainment and to keep themselves fit.”
- He emerged victorious over his nearest rival by a margin of 19,723 votes in the 2023 assembly elections in Chhattisgarh.
- His wife, Mukteshwari Baghel, is the niece of spiritual leader Swami Atmanand.
- In his 2023 affidavit for the Chhattisgarh Vidhan Sabha Assembly elections, Bhupesh stated that he has a tractor and disclosed that his wife, Mukteshwar Baghel, has a higher net worth than him.
- A photo of Bhupesh was widely circulated on the internet in the same year. In the photo, he was seen playing the mobile game Candy Crush during a meeting, which was organised by the Indian National Congress (INC) in Chhattisgarh. Following this, he was made fun of by the netizens as well as the opposition parties. However, he dismissed the jokes and said that he loved playing the game. While giving an interview, he said,
Yes, I do love to play Candy Crush. It is my favourite game and I have crossed a considerable number of levels, and I will go on. As for the rest, Chhattisgarh knows whom to bless.”
- As per Bhupesh, his father, who was a Samajwadi Party member, never supported and voted for him in elections because Bhupesh was associated with the Indian National Congress (INC).
- As per him, he used to consume liquor, but he left drinking alcohol later. YouTube – UNFILTERED by Samdish