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Mohan Markam: New Chhattisgarh Cong chief is party's prominent tribal face

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: June 28, 2019  | 20:35 IST

Raipur, Jun 28 (PTI) Mohan Markam, who was appointed as Chhattisgarh Congress chief Friday, is a prominent tribal face of the party in the state and commands influence not only in his home region of Bastar but also in other Adivasi-dominated areas. A two-time MLA from Bastar's Kondagaon Assembly constituency (ST reserved), Markam has been vocal in raising pro-farmer and pro-tribal issues. Congress president Rahul Gandhi Friday appointed Markam (52) as the party's chief in the state, in place of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel who had been leading it in the Chhattisgarh since December 2013. Markam is the first tribal leader to be appointed as the congress party chief in the state. Markam rose to prominence after the 2013 Assembly election when he defeated BJP's Lata Usendi, a minister and woman tribal leader, from Kondagaon. In the 2008 polls, he had lost to Usendi by a thin margin of 2,771 votes. Markam defeated Usendi for a second time from Kondagaon in the 2018 polls. "People of Bastar have largely supported the Congress both in Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. Markam, who hails from the Bastar region, actively re-energised party workers and rejuvenated supporters during both the elections. He has vast experience which will certainly help the party," state Congress spokesperson Shailesh Nitin Trivedi told PTI. "For the first time, a tribal leader has been appointed as the state Congress chief," he added. Born in Tedmunda village in Makdi tehsil of Kondagaon district on September 15, 1967, Markam has been active in politics since his student days. One of the first key tasks for Markam will be to ensure support of the tribal community, which constitutes about 32 per cent of the state's population, in the civic elections scheduled later this year. The Congress had registered a landslide victory, after staying out of power for 15 years, in the 2018 Assembly polls winning 68 seats in the 90-member House. However, the BJP, in the general polls, trounced the Congress, convincingly winning nine out of 11 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Congress managed to win only Bastar and Korba Lok Sabha seats. PTI TKP BNM TIR TIR

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