New Delhi: After mulling for hours and keeping everybody waiting, Congress finally announced Kamal Nath, the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh. The Congress made the announcement on the micro-blogging site Twitter and wished him for being elected as the CM stating a new era of change is upon the state. As per reports, there will be no deputy chief minister for Madhya Pradesh.
While addressing his first press conference, Nath thanked Jyotiraditya Scindia and supporters and said he will fulfil all the promises made in the manifesto. He also said that he’ll meet the Governor at 10:30 AM on Friday.
A meeting of the party MLAs was held at the state headquarters prior to the announcement. Both Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia had arrived in Bhopal after attending the party meeting at Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s residence on Thursday evening.
While Nath said that the decision will be announced after MLAs meeting, Scindia, on the other hand, said that it isn’t a race and Congress is committed to serving the people of Madhya Pradesh.
Scindia said, “It is not a race, it is not about kursi, we are here to serve the people of Madhya Pradesh.” The Bhopal legislative party meeting had been postponed till 10 PM earlier.
Suspense over Rajasthan CM continues, meeting underway
Meanwhile, suspense over Rajasthan CM still looms large. As per reports, Rajasthan chief minister has to be announced before midnight as the inauspicious month, Kharwas begins from December 14 onwards which will continue until January 14.
Both Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot are the top contenders for the spot. Gehlot and Pilot have both exuded confidence in the party’s leadership and said that Rajasthan Congress stands united.
Earlier in the evening, senior leader Ashok Gehlot, who was leaving for Jaipur, was asked to return from the airport. Both Pilot and Gehlot appealed to supporters to maintain calm. The appeal came soon after one of the former’s closest supporters and Rajasthan Congress spokesperson Inder Mohan Singh sent his resignation to party president Rahul Gandhi and others blocked a road in Karauli.
Gehlot said, “I appeal to workers to maintain calm, they have worked very hard, whatever decisions will be taken will be binding on all. Rahul ji is talking to and consulting all leaders.”
Earlier, party leader Sachin Pilot reached out to his supporters saying, “I appeal to party workers to maintain peace and decorum. I have full faith in the leadership, we will welcome whatever Rahul Gandhi ji and Sonia Gandhi ji decide. It is our responsibility to uphold the honour of the party, we are dedicated to the party.”
Sonia Gandhi, party leaders too mulled over prospective candidates
On Thursday evening, Sonia Gandhi arrived at party president Rahul Gandhi’s house. Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot, the top contenders for the post in Rajasthan, also met Rahul at his residence today. It was being speculated that an announcement on the name for CM post is likely to be made in the evening today but as of now, nothing has been announced.
Earlier in the day, Rahul had met with the party observers for Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh – KC Venugopal, Mallikarjun Kharge and AK Antony – to reach a conclusion on the names of chief ministers for these states. Before the meeting, the Gandhi scion asserted, that the CM names in these three states, where the party emerged as the single-largest in recently concluded Assembly Elections 2018, will be announced by Thursday evening. “You will see chief ministers soon. We are taking inputs from MLAs, party workers and others,” he had told the reporters.
The observers had discussions with newly-elected party MLAs in Jaipur and Bhopal on Wednesday. The observer for Chattisgarh Mallikarjun Kharge will also be handing over his report to Rahul following which he is likely to meet the contenders. Kharge had said, “All MLAs have unanimously authorised AICC President Rahul Gandhi to select Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader (for Chhattisgarh). Whatever decision he takes, the MLAs are ready to accept.”
Furthermore, Rahul had reportedly sent out a pre-recorded audio message to party workers, using an internal messaging platform for the party workers – the ‘Shakti’ app, seeking their feedback for selection of the chief minister in their respective states.
In the recently concluded Assembly Elections 2018, Congress emerged victorious on 114 seats, two short of the magic figure but the party got the support by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) in Madhya Pradesh. While in Rajasthan, the party which won 99 seats has received the support of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) to reach the majority mark of 100. The grand old party sailed through comfortably in Chhattisgarh where it won a total of 68 seats.