Assembly elections 2018: Kamal Nath to take charge in Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia gestures as he leaves after a meeting with party president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on December 13, 2018.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) president K. Chandrashekhar Rao was sworn in as Chief Minister of Telangana once again on Thursday.

Unlike Telangana, however, the ruling and Opposition parties of the outgoing Assemblies in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram are switching sides. While Zoramthanga of the Mizo National Front (MNF) will take over as the Chief Minister of Mizoram on Saturday, the Congress MLAs have endorsed party president Rahul Gandhi to decide the chief ministerial candidates.

And Congress president Rahul Gandhi is holding hectic parleys to name Chief Ministers for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Here are the latest updates:

11:00 pm

The Congress on Thursday announced that nine-term Member of Parliament from Chhindwara, 72-year-old Kamal Nath, will be the next Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.

9 pm

 

Pilot supporters protest

Supporters of Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president  Sachin Pilot burnt tyres and blocked roads in Rajasthan, demanding his appointment as the next Chief Minister.  Groups of people tried to stop traffic at places in Dausa, Ajmer and Karauli districts, police said.

Protesters blocked the Jaipur-Agra highway at Dausa for some time, burning old tyres. There was a similar disruption on the Jaipur-Ajmer highway, and attempts to block traffic on other roads.

Congress Rajasthan unit president Sachin Pilot supporters stage a protest at NH-8 in Ajmer on December 13, 2018.

Congress Rajasthan unit president Sachin Pilot supporters stage a protest at NH-8 in Ajmer on December 13, 2018.   | Photo Credit: PTI

 

In Karauli, about 25 youths burnt tyres on the road, police said. In Dausa, some people gathered at the Jaipur-Agra highway near Patoli for about 30 minutes before being dispersed, police said. “Some people also gathered at the Jaipur-Ajmer highway near Ghooghra in Ajmer and burnt tyres,” Special DG (Law and Order) N.R.K. Reddy told PTI. The blockage was cleared by the police, he said.

Similar demonstrations were held in Karauli’s Hindaun in the evening but the police controlled the situation quickly, he said. Six people climbed atop an overhead water tank in Bandikui in Dausa but were later persuaded to come down, he added.

Bharatpur Inspector-General of Police Malini Agrawal said people gathered at Hindaun and nearby areas and were later dispersed. She said there was no violence and the situation there was back to normal.

Sugar Singh, State secretary of Akhil Bhartiya Yuva Gurjar Mahasabha, said, “We want Sachin Pilot as the next chief minister of Rajasthan. The party high command should declare his name as soon as possible.

“Our members were peaceful at the demonstrations, which were held in Gurjar-dominated areas in eastern Rajasthan,” he said.

Mr. Pilot issued an appeal on Twitter for calm. “I request all workers to maintain peace and discipline,” he wrote in Hindi. “I completely trust the party’s high command,” he said, adding that he will welcome any decision taken by Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi.

“It is the responsibility of committed workers to maintain the party’s dignity,” he tweeted.

8 pm

 

Rahul Gandhi has tweeted a picture of the Madhya Pradesh CM contenders Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia with a Leo Tolstoy quote: “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”

Mr. Scindia too has tweeted the same picture. “It is not a race, it is not about kursi, we are here to serve the people of Madhya Pradesh. I am leaving for Bhopal and you will get to know the decision today.”

PTI quoted Mr. Scindia as saying: “Decision on CM will be announced in Bhopal tonight.”

Mr. Nath also said that he was leaving for Bhopal, where the announcement of the chief minister will be made later tonight.

In Bhopal a meeting of the Congress legislature party is slated around 10 PM, where the announcement will be made.

7 pm

 

Decision on Rajasthan CM may take time, says Gehlot

Ashok Gehlot tells reporters outside IGI Airport in Delhi that the decision on Rajasthan CM appointment may take more time. For the selection of the CLP leader, all leaders and party workers have to be consulted, he says.

Mr. Gehlot was to leave for Jaipur and was waiting for the flight at airport. He changed his plan and returned to Delhi city, saying he may go to Jaipur late in the night or tomorrow. Mr. Gehlot tells reporters that the BJP has no right to criticise Congress over the so-called delay in selection of CLP leader. BJP took 74 days in selecting its Rajasthan unit president, he says.

Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot leaves after a meeting with Congress president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on December 13, 2018.

Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot leaves after a meeting with Congress president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on December 13, 2018.   | Photo Credit: PTI

 

There is nothing much to be read into the meetings of Mr. Gandhi, Ms. Gandhi-Vadra and Ms. Gandhi, says Mr. Gehlot. “They are a family. They regularly meet each other. It is a family from which no one has become Prime Minister or a Minister for 30 years,” he says. Mr. Gehlot also calls upon Congress workers not to lose patience and not to indulge in the acts of indiscipline. “You have played a stupendous role in bringing Congress to power in three States. The BJP has been wiped out in the Hindi heartland,” he says.

6.10 pm

Sachin Pilot appeals for calm

Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president and CM aspirant Sachin Pilot has appealed for calm amid reports of resentment among the Congress workers over delay in announcement of Rajasthan CM's name

"I ask all workers to maintain peace and discipline. I have full faith in the party's top leadership. Whatever decision honourable Rahul Gandhi ji and Sonia Gandhi ji make, I will welcome it. We are all dedicated workers of Congress. Maintaining the party's dignity is our responsibility," Mr. Pilot tweeted in Hindi.

 

6 pm

 

Rahul, Sonia, Priyanka meet Rajasthan, M.P. CM hopefuls

The CM aspirants in Rajasthan (Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot) and Madhya Pradesh (Kamal Nath and Jyotidaridya Scindia) have met Rahul Gandhi and staked their claims even as senior leaders huddled at the residence of Mr. Gandhi, where UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra also participated in the deliberations.

Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi arrives to meet her son and party president Rahul Gandhi at his residence in New Delhi on December 13, 2018.

Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi arrives to meet her son and party president Rahul Gandhi at his residence in New Delhi on December 13, 2018.   | Photo Credit: PTI

 

While Mr. Gandhi met the party’s central observers who gave him inputs on the views of newly-elected legislators in the three States, Ms. Gandhi also came to her son’s residence at Tughlaq Lane to participate in the discussions. Ms. Gandhi-Vadra was also at her brother’s residence and is said to have taken part in the discussions on who should be the chief minister in the three states, party sources said.

Mr. Gandhi also separately met Mr. Gehlot and Mr. Pilot at his residence earlier in the day. The two spent around 15 minutes each with the Congress president and left without talking to the waiting media outside. Later also, they did not take calls from the media.

The Gandhis are learnt to have later held discussions with Mr. Scindia at Mr. Gandhi’s residence, as he is said to be putting a stiff fight for his claim to the Chief Minister’s post. Sources say there was hectic lobbying for the top post in the three States, with a clear division between the old and young guard.

 

4 pm

Number of women legislators in MP Assembly falls

The number of women members in the newly-elected Madhya Pradesh Assembly has deceased as compared to the previous House.

In the just concluded state polls, 17 women candidates won as against 31 lawmakers in the last Assembly.

Among the 17 newly elected women MLAs, nine represent the BJP while eight are from the Congress, as per the EC data.

The BJP women MLAs in the new Assembly are - Yashodhara Raje Scindia (Shivpuri seat), Manisha Singh (Jaitpur), Meena Singh (Manpur), Nandini Maravi (Sihora), Leena Jain (Basoda), Krishna Gaur (Govindpura), Neena Verma (Dhar), Malini Gaud (Indore-4) and Usha Thakur (Mhow).

The Congress’ women lawmakers are Imarti Devi (Dabra), Heena Likhiram Kanware (Lanji), Sunita Patel (Gadarwara), Sumitra Devi Kasdekar (Nepanagar), Jhuma Solanki (Bhikangaon), Vijaylaxmi Sadho (Maheshwar), Chandrabhaga Kirade (Pansemal) and Kalawati Bhuria (Jobat).

In the previous Assembly, there were 24 women MLAs of the BJP, five of the Congress and two of the BSP.

- PTI

 

2.15 pm

Rahul Gandhi holds one-on-one meetings with Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot

Congress president Rahul Gandhi held one-on-one meetings with Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot, the two chief ministerial aspirants in Rajasthan, before taking a final call on who would head government in the desert state.

Mr. Gandhi also held deliberations with the party’s central observer K.C. Venugopal and party in-charge of Rajasthan Avinash Pande and took inputs from them to ascertain the views of the Congress’ newly elected legislators on the matter, sources said.

The Congress president gave separate hearings to both Pilot and Gehlot, one representing the young face of the party and the other, the old guard.

The individual meetings lasted around 10-15 minutes each and neither Mr. Gehlot nor Mr. Pilot talked to the media after the meeting.

- PTI

1.30 pm

Telangana: KCR sworn-in as Chief Minister

TRS leader K. Chandrashekhar Rao takes oath as the Chief Minister of Telangana.

Congress MLC Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy is only visible face of the party at the swearing in ceremony. No leader from BJP or the Left parties present, reports N. Rahul.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao showing victory symbol in TRS Bhavan in Hyderabad on Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao showing victory symbol in TRS Bhavan in Hyderabad on Tuesday, December 11, 2018   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

 

Mohammed Mahmood Ali was sworn in as Cabinet Minister.

Read more
 

1.20 pm

 

Congress leader and former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot leaves after meeting with Congress president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi.

 

Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot leaving after meeting with Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Thursday, December 13, 2018

Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot leaving after meeting with Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Thursday, December 13, 2018   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

 

1.00 pm

Congress to review performance in Mizoram

The Congress, which suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Mizo National Front (MNF) in Mizoram, will review its performance in the just-concluded assembly polls at a meeting on January 18, a party leader said Thursday.

All party candidates will be asked to attend the brainstorming session that will deliberate on the reasons for the debacle of the Congress in the election to the 40-member House, Mizoram Congress spokesperson Lallianchhunga told PTI.

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12:45 pm

Mr. Gandhi spoke to reporters on the sidelines of an event to remember the terror attack on Parliament. "We are taking inputs from different people in the party. We are taking inputs from the MLAs, from the workers. So we are getting a comprehensive answer to what the Congress party want," Mr. Gandhi said when asked about chief ministerial candidate.

11:40 am

AICC Observer Mallikarjun Kharge along with Chhattisgarh State in charge P.L. Punia held one-on-one deliberations with all the 68 Congress legislators in Raipur. The meeting reportedly went on till 3:00 am on Thursday. The duo will submit their report to the Congress president.

11:25 am

Who should be your CM, Rahul asks suggestions from party workers

Over the last 24 hours, an audio message from Mr. Gandhi has gone to 7.3 lakh party workers across the three states in which they have been asked to name their chief ministerial choice.

In the audio message, he is heard congratulating the leaders for the party’s victory in the assembly elections 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”.

11:00 am

Chhattisgarh CM choices

Bhupesh Baghel

Bhupesh Baghel  

 

Returning to power in Chhattisgarh after a gap of 15 years, the Congress has at least three Chief Ministerial candidates: State party chief Bhupesh Baghel, Leader of the Opposition in the dissolved Assembly T.S. Singh Deo and the lone MP from the State Tamradhwaj Sahu.

While each contender has a strong claim, party officials said the final outcome would be crucial in helping lay the groundwork for the party in the State in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Mr. Baghel is credited with having run an aggressive campaign and bringing a divided house into order.He is recognised for his role in pushing the Ajit Jogi faction out of the Congress and helping put an end to intra-party intrigue.

T.S. Singhdeo.

T.S. Singhdeo.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 

Considered the brain behind the Congress manifesto that many claim was a key reason for the party’s victory, Mr. Singh Deo was instrumental in mobilising campaign funds and resources. His close ties with Mr. Gandhi are also seen as a big plus.

The dark horse could be Mr. Sahu. He is from the State’s dominant OBC caste, and his selection could help the party build a pro-backward image ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

10:00 am

Congress CM hopefuls in Delhi

The potential chief minister candidates in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have arrived in New Delhi for a meeting with Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

The Congress president will first meet the party observers A.K. Antony for Madhya Pradesh and K.C. Venugopal for Rajasthan before meeting those in the race. The observers had already held discussions with newly-elected party MLAs in Jaipur and Bhopal on Wednesday.

Congress observer for Chattisgarh Mallikarjun Kharge will also be handing over his report to Gandhi following which he is likely to meet the contenders.

9:30 am

KCR swearing-in ceremony at 1:25 pm

Telangana Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan will administer the oath of office to Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) president K. Chandrasekhar Rao and, possibly one Cabinet Minister, at 1.25 p.m., on Thursday, December 13, 2018, Raj Bhavan sources said adding that all arrangements were made.

9:15 am

Rahul Gandhi to decide CMs in three States

Congress president Rahul Gandhi arrives to address a press conference at the party headquarters in New Delhi on December 11, 2018.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi arrives to address a press conference at the party headquarters in New Delhi on December 11, 2018.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

 

The Congress, which won in the three north Indian States, held meetings of its legislature parties that authorised party president Rahul Gandhi to name his choice as Chief Minister.

The choices before Mr. Gandhi in Rajasthan is between All India Congress Committee general secretary Ashok Gehlot and State president Sachin Pilot.

In Madhya Pradesh, where the results were announced only on Wednesday morning after a see-saw battle, the Congress, just a little shy of majority, got a boost when Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati announced that she, with two MLAs, would support a Congress government. The party also enjoys support of Independents. Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath is the front-runner for the post of Chief Minister.

In Chhattisgarh, T.S. Singh Deo, the Leader of Opposition in the outgoing Assembly, and Bhupesh Baghel, the State Congress chief, are among the chief minister hopefuls. 

9:00 am

EC notifies constitution of new Telangana Assembly

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief and caretaker Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao makes an entry in the register before entering the TRS Bhavan for the TRS Legislative Party meeting, in Hyderabad on December 12, 2018.

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief and caretaker Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao makes an entry in the register before entering the TRS Bhavan for the TRS Legislative Party meeting, in Hyderabad on December 12, 2018.   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

 

The Election Commission of India has announced the constitution of the new Legislative Assembly for Telangana.

The new Assembly will have 88 members of the TRS, 19 members of the Congress, two from the TDP, seven from the MIM, one member from the BJP, one member affiliated to All India Forward Bloc and one independent MLA. Gazette notification relating to the constitution of the new Assembly was issued a day after the counting of votes was completed on Tuesday night.

8:45 am

Amit Shah set to take stock after electoral setback

Lonely spot: A worker at the deserted BJP headquarters in New Delhi.

Lonely spot: A worker at the deserted BJP headquarters in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

 

BJP chief Amit Shah, who has not yet publicly reacted to the party’s loss in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, has convened a series of review meetings, starting Thursday, with central office-bearers in charge of the States and the party’s youth wing.

On the anvil for Thursday’s scheduled seven-hour meeting would be lessons that the party could glean from the defeats and suggestions on how to keep the BJP worker invested in the party’s electoral project.

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