Congress leaders Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot on Monday took oath as chief minister and deputy chief minister of Rajasthan, respectively. Meanwhile, Kamal Nath also took oath as the new Madhya Pradesh chief minister, while Bhupesh Baghel took oath as the new Chhattisgarh chief minister later in the evening.These developments come almost a week after the results of the five-state Assembly elections were declared. The swearing-in ceremonies were also used as a show of Opposition unity as several regional leaders were invited to Bhopal, Jaipur and Raipur.
Here are top 10 developments on Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh election results
1. Bhupesh Baghel takes oath as new Chhattisgarh chief minister
Baghel's swearing-in ceremony took place at Balbir Singh Juneja Indoor Stadium in Raipur. Earlier, the Science College ground had been picked for the occasion. However, due to incessant rain, the venue had to be changed at the eleventh hour. Baghel, an MLA from the Patan constituency and the state Congress chief, was named as the next chief minister of Chhattisgarh at the CLP meeting. 2. Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot's oath-taking ceremony
Congress leader Ashok Gehlot took oath as Rajasthan chief minister, while Sachin Pilot pilot took oath as deputy chief minister. The ceremony took place at the iconic Albert Hall. Several senior Congress leaders and hundreds of party workers attended the event. "Congress president Rahul Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and other leaders attended the ceremony," Gehlot said. Oath-taking ceremonies are usually organised at the Raj Bhawan. However, the function in 2003 and 2013, when Vasundhara Raje took oath as chief minister, was held at Janpath outside the Rajasthan Assembly building. And this time, Albert Hall was decided as the venue for the event. Seating arrangements were made to accommodate about 11,000 people. Nearly 2,000 VIP guests attended the function. Prominent among them was former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje, who arrived early for the swearing-in ceremony.
Former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is attending the swearing-in ceremony at Albert Hall
3. Kamal Nath's oath-taking ceremony
Madhya Pradesh: People greet Chief Minister designate Kamal Nath outside his residence in Bhopal. pic.twitter.com/HBObqCCvHn— ANI (@ANI) December 17, 2018
Congress stalwart took the oath of office at Jamboree Maidan in Bhopal. Governor Anandiben Patel administered the oath-taking ceremony and left the venue promptly. Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi and Kamal Nath would be addressing the gathering.
UPA leaders are expected to be present are former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and H D Deve Gowda.
4. Show of Opposition unity at the oath-taking ceremonies
From Aam Admi Party (AAP) leaders to TDP's Chandrababu Naidu, Congress has invited leaders from across the political spectrum, showcasing Opposition unity ahead of the Lok Sabha election 2018. Apart from party chief Rahul Gandhi and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Ms Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav were invited for the event.
In a sign of a thaw in the relations between the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress, senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh will attend the swearing-in ceremony of Ashok Gehlot as Rajasthan chief minister.
Singh confirmed that the Congress invited the party to attend Gehlot's oath-taking ceremony. "The invitation was for party convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. I will attend the function on his behalf," Singh said.
5. Mamata Banerjee to give the ceremonies a skip
In contrast to the warmth shown by the TMC supremo on Chandrababu Naidu, Arvind Kejriwal, Chandrashekar Rao and M K Stalin, Mamata Banerjee has decided to give oath-taking ceremonies of Congress party leaders a miss. Trinamool Congress leader Dinesh Trivedi will be representing the party at the event "I have been directed by the party chief (Banerjee) to be present at Monday's swearing-in programme," Trivedi said.
Giving a massive blow to the BJP, Congress wrested power from the saffron outfit decisively in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, but the contest was close in Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls where the Congress wrested power from the BJP but in a nail-biting fight. In 230-member Assembly of Madhya Pradesh, the Congress won 114 seats, while the BJP got 109. Congress got a massive majority in 90-member Vidhan Sabha of Chhattisgarh where the party won 68 seats, and the BJP got just 15 seats and the remaining seats went to others including BSP 2 and Ajit Jogi's Janata Congress Chhattisgarh won 5 seats.
In Rajasthan where the poll was held in 199 seats out of 200, the Congress bagged 99 seats, and the BJP 73. BSP got 6, CPM 2, Bharatiya Tribal Party 2, Rashtriya Lok Dal 1, Rashtriya Loktantrik Party 3, and Independents 13.
Madhya Pradesh saw a nail-biting fight, where the Congress managed to bag 114 seats out of a total of 230, while the BJP got 109 seats, BSP 2, Samajwadi Party 1 and Independents 4.
7. Bhupesh Baghel promises to waive off farm loan
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister-designate Bhupesh that a loan waiver for farmers will be announced in the first meeting of the new state Cabinet.
"Promises made by Congress president Rahul Gandhi to farmers will be our first priority. To probe the conspiracy behind the Jhiram valley incident will also be our priority," he said.
"Our focus will be on the welfare of farmers, tribals, youth, women and small traders."
The Congress' manifesto had promised to waive the loans of farmers within 10 days of coming to power.
Rahul Gandhi used a novel way to seek his party workers' opinion on the chief minister candidates. An audio message from Gandhi had gone to 703,000 party workers across the three states, in which they were asked to name their chief ministerial choice.
9. KCR took oath as Telangana CM on Dec 13
TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao, who led his party to a massive victory in the December 7 assembly elections, was sworn-in on December 13 as the chief minister of Telangana for a second straight term. Along with Rao, party MLC Mohammed Mehmood Ali, who was deputy chief minister in the previous TRS government, took oath as a minister. In the December 7 elections, the TRS won 88 seats in the 119-member assembly, trouncing the Congress-led 'Praja Kutami', which ended up with a tally of 21.
10. Rahul Gandhi chooses experience over youth
With an eye on 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Congress president Rahul chose to play safe by going with the old guard in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh as he selected veterans Kamal Nath and Ashok Gehlot for the posts of chief minister. Sources said amid a clear tussle between the old guard and the young turks in the party for the top slot in the states, Gandhi opted for experience as the Congress merely touched the simple majority mark with the help of allies and independents in both the states. Despite the stiff challenge to the veterans from Sachin Pilot and Jyotiraditya Scindia, the Congress chief finally passed the test of brokering peace.