Kamal Nath has a reputation of being a troubleshooter who enjoys good rapport with leaders across party lines.
Leaders from various opposition parties have been invited for the ceremony
Venue is same as that of swearing-in of BJP’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan in 2008 and 2013
Swearing-in will take place on December 17 at 1:30 pm
Leaders across various political parties have been invited for the swearing-in ceremony of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister-designate Kamal Nath, scheduled to be held tomorrow at 1.30 pm in Bhopal.
Congress party sources said that apart from party chief Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, invitations have been sent to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.
The swearing-in ceremony will take place at Jamboree Maidan in Bhopal instead of Lal Parade ground as announced earlier. Jamboree Maidan is where BJP’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan had taken oath as chief minister at the start of his terms in 2008 and 2013. Congress maintains that the venue has been changed because Jamboree Maidan has greater capacity.
Congress won 114 seats in the 230-member House. It secured the support of a total of 121 MLAs, including SP (1) and BSP (2) legislators and independents (4), to cross the majority mark of 116 seats.
The general who helped the Congress party win the battle is now the king. How will he fare? That’s something for the history books to record later, but we’ll leave you with what Digvijaya Singh once said: “Nath is someone you cannot ignore. If he is given a task, he delivers.”
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KAMAL NATH’S STATURE IN SEVEN POINTS
1. Kamal Nath is a nine-time MP from Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh, where the Congress was last voted out in 2003. Named chief of his party’s state unit in April this year, he endeavoured to bring together senior leaders like Jyotiraditya Scindia and Digvijaya Singh.
2. A Doon School alumnus, Kamal Nath was regarded as her “third son” by Indira Gandhi. His selection by the Congress party to lead Madhya Pradesh underlines his political calibre.
3. Kamal Nath is known as a troubleshooter who plans meticulously. He enjoys excellent rapport with leaders across party lines. This may also be one of the reasons why political heavyweights outside the Congress party are being invited for the swearing-in ceremony. Chief ministers of Congress-ruled states in the country are also expected to be in attendance.
4. Nath is an old-school Congress leader who has risen from the ranks of Sanjay Gandhi’s Youth Congress. He knows Mayawati from Kanshi Ram’s days; had negotiated an alliance with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in 1980 during Indira Gandhi’s time and later was instrumental in bringing it to the UPA in 2004.
5. He has seen Mamata Banerjee grow from being a feisty streetfighter to chief minister, and went to school with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. So when Nath dials an ally, he knows what tone will work.
6. Kamal Nath is taking charge at a crucial time for the Congress party. It may have won this year’s contest in the Hindi heartland, but a general election is due by May next year. When the Modi wave swept India in 2014, the BJP won 27 Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh. The two others went to Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia.
7. In Madhya Pradesh, Kamal Nath ensured that regional satraps got representation in the allotment of tickets in the run-up to 2018 assembly elections. The state Congress focussed its campaign on Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s “unfulfilled” promises under Nath’s leadership and called the outgoing chief minister “ghoshnaveer” — a man of hollow promises.