Kamal Nath Wins Madhya Pradesh Top Job; Jyotiraditya Scindia On Board

The Congress wants its experienced hands to play a big role in the heartland states, but without upsetting the younger leaders.

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Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday sent an audio message to two lakh party workers to reveal their choice

New Delhi:  The Congress has tweeted its best wishes to Kamal Nath, naming him as the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, after a tense race for the state's top post. The announcement came shortly after Mr Nath reached Bhopal after day-long meetings with party chief Rahul Gandhi. That his young rival Jyotiraditya Scindia has accepted the decision was hinted at by Rahul Gandhi in a tweet. The race in Rajasthan remains open; Ashok Gehlot is the leadership's favourite but state Congress chief Sachin Pilot is not giving up. Late in the evening, the two leaders had one-on-one meetings with Rahul Gandhi. A decision is expected today.
Here are the top 10 developments in this big story:
  1. Kamal Nath said in a statement that the Chief Minister's post was a "milestone" for him. Mr Nath, who reached Bhopal in the evening to ecstatic welcome from his supporters, said he would meet the Governor today and decide on a date for the oath ceremony. Sources said it could be held on December 17.
  2. Rahul Gandhi's tweet showed him linking arms in harmony with Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia. It was captioned with a quote from the famous author Leo Tolstoy: "The two most powerful warriors are patience and time."
  3. The same photo appeared on Jyotiraditya Scindia's timeline with a different caption: "It is not a race, it is not about the kursi (post), we are here to serve the people of Madhya Pradesh."
  4. The tussle for the top post broke out as soon as the Congress won the three heartland states, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, on Tuesday. As the experience versus youth battle seemed to head nowhere all day on Thursday, the Congress president even consulted his mother Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka Vadra.
  5. Late in the evening, Mr Gandhi met Rajasthan Congress in-charge Sachin Pilot and around midnight, Ashok Gehlot, who was called back from the Delhi airport thrice on Thursday as he attempted to fly back to Jaipur. Sources said Mr Pilot is still arguing his case. Another meeting is expected to be held in Jaipur today.
  6. For Rajasthan, Mr Gehlot, a seasoned political manager, holds an edge, but Sachin Pilot is believed to be fighting hard for the post that he believes he has earned after leading the party for the past four years in the state and rebuilding it after its 2013 rout.
  7. Amid reports of highway protests by Congress workers, Sachin Pilot appealed on twitter for "peace and decorum" and said he would welcome "whatever Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi decide".
  8. The 2019 national election has a huge bearing on the decision. The Congress wants its experienced hands to play a big role in the heartland states but without upsetting the younger leaders or risking any rebellion.
  9. The Congress and its allies have a wafer-thin majority in both Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, which makes the decision even more critical.
  10. This morning, Sonia Gandhi had said in response to NDTV's question on who would be chief minister: "I don't know who will be chief minister, ask Rahul". For Rahul Gandhi, it is the perhaps his toughest challenge since he took the reins of the Congress from his mother Sonia Gandhi a year ago.




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Highlights

1
Sonia, Priyanka Gandhi hold discussions with Rahul Gandhi
2
Kamal Nath is Congress pick for Madhya Pradesh chief minister: Sources
3
In Rajasthan, the Congress leadership reportedly favours Ashok Gehlot

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