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Cong CM race: Kamal Nath becomes MP CM; Raj, Chhattisgarh decision today

Rahul Gandhi-led Congress emerged victorious in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh Assembly elections 2018. Find latest updates on who will be chief minister of MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Rahul Gandhi
Jyotiraditya Scindia, Rahul Gandhi and Kamal Nath pose together on Thursday, December 13, 2018, in New Delhi. Photo: @RahulGandhi

was appointed as the of the newly-elected Congress government in Madhya Pradesh, reported ANI on Thursday. Congress President has deferred the decisions on chief ministers of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh for Friday, reported agencies on Thursday citing unnamed Congress sources. Earlier in the day, according to sources as quoted by several TV channels, Gandhi had picked as of Rajasthan. However, an official announcement was still awaited as meetings and speculations stretched late into the evening and the night.

This development comes after India's grand-old party delivered a severe blow to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Hindi strongholds of MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, months ahead of the General due in 2019. The Congress pipped BJP in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in the recently concluded Assembly elections, the results of which were declared on Tuesday. While the Congress won with a resounding victory in Chhattisgarh, bagging 68 seats, the two parties were locked in a nail-biting contest in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, with the Congress finally emerging as the victor.

Amid speculations, Gandhi tweeted, ostensibly quoting Leo Tolstoy, "The two most powerful warriors are patience and time."

Top 10 developments on Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh Assembly results 2018:

1. declared Madhya Pradesh's new

Kamal Nath's name has been announced for the post of Madhya Pradesh chief minister, reported ANI on Thursday, adding that there would not be a deputy chief minister in MP.

Seventy-two-year-old Kamal Nath will take the office of chief minister for the first time in a distinguished career in politics. A nine-time MP from Madhya Pradesh's Chhindwara constituency, he has served as the pro-tem Speaker of the 16th Lok Sabha (elected in 2014). He has also served as the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry in former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's first term and the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways from May 2009 to January 2011, among others. (Read more here)

He was elected as the party's Madhya Pradesh president in May this year. Having been elected as the chief minister of the state government, the challenge that lies in the days ahead for Kamal Nath is to consolidate the voter base for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, slated to be held in April-May next year.

2. defers to Friday decisions on Raj, Chhattisgarh CMs

Congress President Rahul Gandhi has deferred the decisions on chief ministers of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh for Friday as he wants to hold further discussions with party leaders, agency PTI reported on Thursday citing unnamed Congress sources. (Read more here)

Gandhi held discussions with party leaders in Chhattisgarh on Thursday to decide on the new chief minister for the state, the party sources said, but postponed the decision to Friday for holding wider discussions with the contenders.

The Congress chief had earlier held a series of meetings with CM aspirants in Rajasthan -- and -- but no consensus emerged between the two and Pilot asserted his right for the top post. Pilot's supporters also shouted slogans in his favour outside Gandhi's residence here. While Gehlot is learnt to be leading the race for chief minister's post, Pilot is also putting up stiff resistance and is staking his claim.

Rahul holds consultations to decide Chhattisgarh CM

Chhattisgarh Congress leaders Bhupesh Baghel, Charan Das Mahant and T S Singh Deo will arrive in Delhi on Friday, reported ANI on Thursday. State Congress unit President Baghel is considered the front-runner for the top post, while party leaders Deo, Tamradhwaj Sahu and Mahant are also among the contenders. (Read more here)

After holding consultations on Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi on Thursday met party leaders from Chhattisgarh to decide on the chief minister in the state. The Congress central observer for Chhattisgarh, Mallikarjuna Kharge, and state in-charge P L Punia met Gandhi at his residence soon after he finished discussing Madhya Pradesh.

3. Sonia, Priyanka at Rahul's residence before decision on CMs

UPA chairperson and her daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were in a huddle with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi at his home on Thursday as suspense escalated on who would be named the chief ministers of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. drove to Rahul Gandhi's Tughlaq Lane residence to discuss the choices for the new chief ministers, party sources said. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was also present at the discussions.

4. To choose CM, Rahul uses hi-tech, democratic solution

Rahul Gandhi used a novel way to seek his party workers' opinion on the chief minister candidates. Over the last 24 hours, 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.

ALSO READ: Congress does reality check on keeping poll promises after 3-state victory

In the audio message, he is heard congratulating the leaders for the party's victory in the assembly in the three heartland states.

"Now I want to ask you a vital question: Who should be the chief minister? Please mention just one name.

I'm the only person who would know whom you are naming. No one in the party will know. Please speak after the beep".

5. BJP's national council to meet on Jan 11-12 in New Delhi

In the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP will hold several meetings of the party's various wings across the country, including its two-day national council meeting on January 11-12 here, the party announced on Thursday. Addressing a press conference at the party office in New Delhi, BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav shared details of various meetings to be held across the country. These include the two-day 'Scheduled Caste morcha' meeting, to be attended by its chief Amit Shahs, on January 19-20 in Nagpur. (Read more here)

Amit Shah chairs meeting on defeat in Assembly elections

BJP president Amit Shah on Thursday chaired a meeting at the party headquarters in Delhi to discuss BJP's defeat. The meeting, which began at 2 pm, is expected to continue for the next seven hours. During the meeting, Shah, along with state presidents and in-charges of BJP, will plan the party's agenda for the Lok Sabha elections 2019.

6. Chhattisgarh to get a new CM soon

In Chhattisgarh, the 68 Congress MLAs have unanimously left it to Rahul Gandhi to decide on the new chief minister. According to senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, Gandhi had asked him to ascertain the views of the MLAs as well. Chhattisgarh Congress president and Pattan MLA and outgoing leader of Opposition TS Singh Deo are front-runners for the chief minister’s job.

ALSO READ: Chhattisgarh poll result: Congress ends BJP's 15-year rule; wins 68 seats

7. Rahul Gandhi's dilemma over 'experience vs youth'

The Congress Legislature Party in Rajasthan passed a resolution authorising Rahul Gandhi to take the final decision on the CM candidate.

— Ashok Gehlot

is All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary. He was made in charge of the Rajya Sabha election for Gujarat in August 2017. Ashok Gehlot was also the Congress general secretary in charge of the 2017 Gujarat assembly election. Under his leadership, the Congress's tally rose from 61 in 2012 to 77 in the 182-member Gujarat assembly.

Gehlot is a two-term chief minister of Rajasthan. This may go in his favour as he is an experienced leader.

Ashok Gehlot, 67, has an edge over Sachin Pilot, 41, in terms of age.

— Sachin Pilot:

If Rahul picks youth over experience, would get the top post. By virtue of he being the Congress Rajasthan president, the party went to election under the Sachin Pilot's leadership. He shares a major share of the Congress's share of victory in the state.

8. Sources say Kamal Nath will be given the top job.

Sources said the state party chief Kamal Nath-who has earlier served as a Union minister would be the next chief minister of the state.

Jyotiraditya Scindia, who was the other claimant for the CM’s job, had on Wednesday said, "It will be a privilege if given the chance to become CM of Madhya Pradesh."

At the meeting, however, Arif Aqueel proposed Kamal Nath’s name, and former CM Digvijay Singh seconded the proposal, said sources.

9. KCR takes oath as Telangana CM

TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao, who led his party to a massive victory in the December 7 assembly elections, was sworn-in Thursday 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. Congress wins big in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh

The Congress, which had a disastrous performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and suffered successive defeats in various Assembly elections, smiled for the first time defeating the BJP in a direct contest in three crucial states. The battle in Rajasthan was won by the Congress, which has bagged 99 seats, while the ruling BJP won 73 seats. Congress later got the support of independent candidates and Mayawati-led Bahujan Samajwadi Party. In Chhatisgarh Congress bagged 68 seats. Meanwhile, MP was a tough nut to crack. The two national parties see-sawed for almost 24 hours before Congress finally emerged as the single-largest party with 114 seats. It got the backing of SP and BSP, who wished to corner BJP.

First Published: Thu, December 13 2018. 15:22 IST