Kamal Nath took oath as the 18th Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh on Monday. He was administered the oath by Governor Anandiben Patel. Opposition Unity was yet again visible at the event. Political bigwigs including Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference chairman Farooq Abdullah, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Sharad Yadav, newly appointed Chief Minister of Rajasthan and his deputy Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot attended the swearing-in ceremony.
Madhya Pradesh saw a nail-biting fight, where the Congress managed to bag 114 seats out of a total of 230. The Congress then roped in seven seats, two from the BSP, one from Samajwadi Party and four Independents candidates, to form the government.
Congress leaders Nath, Gehlot to be sworn-in as Chief Ministers on December 17; Rahul Gandhi to attend ceremony
Kamal Nath is the senior most member of the Lok Sabha, having won nine elections and is expected to use his organisational experience to strengthen the party at the grassroots. Kamal Nath has been a Union Minister in different Congress-led governments and has also held organisational posts including being in-charge of Gujarat and Haryana in his nearly four decades of political career. A friend of the late Sanjay Gandhi, he was first elected to Lok Sabha in 1980. He was Minister of Environment and Forests as also Textiles Minister in the P.V. Narasimha Rao government. Kamal Nath was a key member of the two UPA governments and was Commerce and Industry Minister in 2004-09. In UPA-II, he held the portfolios of Road Transport and Highways, Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs. As India's Commerce minister, he championed the cause of developing countries at WTO ministerial meetings. And everyone admits that Kamal Nath is one of those politicians who has friends across the political spectrum.
Earlier in the day, Gehlot was sworn-in as the 12th Chief Minister of Rajasthan. He took oath at the historic Albert Hall in Jaipur. He was administered the oath by Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh.
Sachin Pilot took oath as Gehlot's deputy.
A phalanx of political bigwigs including Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, DMK president MK Stalin, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav attended the event. However, BSP chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav skipped the event.
Congress emerged as the single-largest party in Rajasthan by winning 99 seats, while BJP managed to get only 73 seats. The Bahujan Samaj Party won six seats, while CPI (M) won 2, Independents for 13 and other parties managed six seats.
Gehlot was given the charge of Gujarat just months ahead of the 2017 Assembly elections in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state where the Congress did not win but nonetheless gave a stiff fight to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Chhattisgarh's chief minister-designate Bhupesh Baghel is scheduled to take oath at 4.30 pm.
HERE ARE THE UPDATES:
06:31 am: Baghel administered oath of office by Governor Anandiben Patel at the ceremony held at an indoor stadium in Raipur.
06:27 pm: Bhupesh Baghel takes oath as Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh
2:40 pm: The venue of Chhattisgarh designate Bhupesh Baghel's oath taking ceremony has been changed from Science College ground to Balbir Singh Juneja Indoor Stadium in Raipur, due to continuous rainfall.
2:35 pm: Kamal Nath takes oath as 18th Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh
2:00 pm: National Conference President Farooq Abdullah, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh and Mallikarjun Kharge, Andhra Pradesh CM & TDP Chief N Chandrababu Naidu, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and other leaders reach the venue of the swearing-in ceremony of CM designate Kamal Nath, in Bhopal.
Madhya Pradesh: National Conference President Farooq Abdullah, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh and Mallikarjun Kharge, Andhra Pradesh CM & TDP Chief N Chandrababu Naidu, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and other leaders at the swearing-in ceremony of CM designate Kamal Nath, in Bhopal. pic.twitter.com/q4UcVtHpLo— ANI (@ANI) December 17, 2018
1:44 pm: Former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is also present at oath-taking ceremony of CM designate Kamal Nath in Bhopal.
Madhya Pradesh: Former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and other leaders at the swearing-in ceremony of CM designate Kamal Nath, in Bhopal. pic.twitter.com/53HxMd5ktB— ANI (@ANI) December 17, 2018
12:55 pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi reaches Bhopal to attend the swearing-in-ceremony of Kamal Nath.
Bhopal: Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other leaders including Farooq Abdullah and Sharad Yadav arrive for oath ceremony of Kamal Nath as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister. pic.twitter.com/1C89AzBCda— ANI (@ANI) December 17, 2018
12:55 pm: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday thanked the people of Rajasthan for believing in the party and vowed that the state government will fulfill its responsibilities.His remarks came after senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot was Monday sworn in as the chief minister of Rajasthan at a ceremony here, while Sachin Pilot took oath as a cabinet minister. The party announced that Pilot will be the state's deputy chief minister."Thanks to the people of Rajasthan for believing in the Congress. Congratulations to the leaders and workers of the Congress for the success of their struggle," he tweeted "It is an honour for the Congress party to serve Rajasthan. We will fulfil our responsibility," he added.
12:44 pm: BJP national information and technology chief Amit Malviya in a tweet, took a dig at Kamal Nath in light of the recent High Court verdict on the 1984 Anti-Sikh riots. "Ironical that on the day Sajjan Kumar gets life sentence for his role in state sponsored Sikh genocide of 1984, another man named by an eye witness, an IE reporter, for leading a mob that killed two Sikhs in Gurudwara Rakabganj will be sworn in as Congress CM of Madhya Pradesh," he said.
12:40 pm: After Delhi high court's hearing on 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, convicting Congress leader Sajjan Kumar for conspiracy to commit murder in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and sentencing him to imprisonment for life, Union Minister Arun Jaitley pointed at MP CM designate Kamal Nath and said that the Sikh community strongly believes that he was involved in the violence. He further slammed the Gandhi family for "making sure that the riot victims don't get justice"
12:20 pm: Kamal Nath to take oath as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister shortly. Rahul Gandhi reaches Bhopal.
11:20 am: Several leaders from the Congress and its alliance partners from across the country attended the oath-taking cereony of Ashok Gehlot as the CM and Sachin Pilot as his deputy. Outgoing Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje, NCP's Sharad Pawar, LJD leader Sharad Yadav, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, DMK leader M K Stalin, JMM leader Hemant Soren, JVM leader Babulal Marandi were among others who were present at the ceremony. Gehlot, Pilot and other leaders received Rahul Gandhi, Manmohan Singh at the airport and left for the Albert Hall in a bus amid tight security arrangements. Large number of the party members and supporters were present in the oath ceremony.
Jaipur: Earlier visuals of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former PM Manmohan Singh and other leaders going for the swearing-in ceremony of Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and Deputy CM Sachin Pilot. pic.twitter.com/2CZiyAS8x3— ANI (@ANI) December 17, 2018
11:00 am: Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot take oath as Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan respectively.
10:21 am: Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje arrives at swearing-in ceremony of Ashok Gehlot
09:30 am: Samajwadi Party (SP) President Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Chief Mayawati will not participate in the swearing-in ceremonies in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh today.
09:20 am: Rajasthan Chief Minister designate Ashok Gehlot: Once the cabinet is decided, the Chief Minister will work on its advice. Once it’s done, we’ll do what’s in public interest, the manifesto will be our priority.
09:10 am: New beginning for Rajasthan, will start working on poll promises after cabinet is formed, says Sachin Pilot.
Jaipur: Visuals from outside the residence of Rajasthan Dy CM designate Sachin Pilot, says "New beginning for the state&people.They trusted us&our work begins today. As soon as cabinet is formed we'll begin working on promises made to people.We'll work to meet their expectations" pic.twitter.com/87IwshDZBp— ANI (@ANI) December 17, 2018
09:00 am: Rajasthan chief minister-designate Ashok Pilot wrote a letter to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, inviting him for the ceremony. In a letter to Naidu, Gehlot said, "The recently concluded assembly election is not just a victory for the Congress party but is also a victory for progressive politics..." "Our parties have been partners in our joint struggle to defeat forces who have left no stone unturned to undermine our democracy," he added.
“People from all over Rajasthan will be coming for the ceremony and the public is very excited. The meeting for the mahagathbandhan has already taken place and everyone has pledged that we will move forward and the environment of hate and malice in the country should end,” Gehlot told reporters on Sunday.
In the recently concluded Assembly elections, the results of which were declared on December 11, the Congress dealt a massive blow to the BJP by ousting its governments in the three 'Hindi heartland' states.
Congress party made an impressive comeback in Chhattisgarh after a long gap of 15 years, winning 68 out of the 90 seats in the legislative assembly. Baghel's name was chosen after several rounds of discussions between Rahul Gandhi and the all four CM aspirants-TS Singh Deo, Tamradhwaj Sahu, Bhupesh Baghel and Charan Das Mahant on Saturday.
Baghel, 57, is an OBC leader of Kurmi caste from Chhatisgarh's Durg. He had served as a transport minister in Digvijaya Singh's cabinet in MP and later in Ajit Jogi’s Chhattisgarh cabinet in 2000.
Baghel, Congress' prominent OBC face in Chhattisgarh, contested from Patan constituency and defeated BJP's Motilal Sahu by a margin of 27,477 votes.
After losing in 2008, Baghel staged a comeback in 2013 and then rose to the position of PCC chief. He is largely credited with leading Congress to a thumping victory in the recently concluded State Assembly elections.
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