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Election Special

PM Modi asks voters of MP, Mizoram to exercise their franchise

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PM Modi

New Delhi | Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday exhorted people of Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram to turn out in large numbers to cast their vote in the assembly elections.

Modi took to Twitter to reach out to people in the two states, asking them to exercise their franchise in the “festival of democracy”. The PM tweeted in English and Hindi to send out the message to the voters. Polling is on in the two states.

“I request my sisters and brothers of Mizoram, particularly the dynamic youth of the state, to turnout in large numbers and vote,” he said in one of the tweets. Modi usually takes to Twitter on voting days to ask people to cast vote.

Madhya Pradesh Election 2018

Mamata, Mayawati invited for Kamal Nath’s swearing-in on Dec 17

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Kamal Nath; BJP

Bhopal | The Congress has invited leaders from across the political spectrum for the swearing-in ceremony of party stalwart Kamal Nath taking charge as chief minister of Madhya Pradesh on December 17.

Nath, a nine-time MP from Chhindwara seat and currently president of state Congress unit, will take oath at a grand function to be held at Jamboree Maidan in BHEL area here instead of Lal Parade Ground as announced earlier. He had told reporters Friday that the swearing-in ceremony would take place at Lal Parade Ground around 1.30 pm.

According to sources in Congress, the change of venue is apparently aimed at accommodating a huge crowd the party is expecting for the ceremony. Notably, Jambooree Maidan is the venue where Nath’s predecessor Shivraj Singh Chouhan of the BJP had taken the oath with much fanfare in 2008 and 2013.

“I will take oath alone,” Nath told PTI, when asked who else will take oath along with him. This means that aspirants seeking ministerial berths will have to wait for some more time.

Nath will become the first chief minister of a Congress government in the central Indian state after a gap of 15 years.

Digvijaya Singh was the last chief minister of Congress in Madhya Pradesh. The BJP snatched power from the grand old party in 2003 and went on to retain it till its narrow defeat on December 11.

According to Congress sources, apart from UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and party president Rahul Gandhi, Nath has invited West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, BSP chief Mayawati and SP president Akhilesh Yadav for the event. Besides, chief ministers of all Congress-ruled states are being invited, they said.

Leading industrialists and religious saints will also be present on the occasion, sources said.

The Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) have extended their support to Nath for forming the government after the Congress failed to cross the halfway mark (115) on its own.

The Congress won 114 seats in the 230-member Assembly. The party has secured the support of total 121 MLAs, including SP (1), BSP (2) and four Independent MLAs.

Apart from Madhya Pradesh, the Congress has come to power in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan by dislodging the respective BJP governments there in the latest polls.

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Mizoram Elections 2018

Zoramthanga sworn in as new Mizoram Chief Minister

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Aizawl | Mizo National Front (MNF) president Zoramthanga was sworn in as Mizoram’s new chief minister, heading a 12-member ministry. He was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor K Rajasekharan during a ceremony at Raj Bhavan here.

Zoramthanga took oath in Mizo language. This was his third stint as chief minister of the northeastern state, having led the MNF government in Mizoram in 1998 and 2003. Tawnluia will be the deputy chief minister.

Along with Zoramthanga, 11 others — five cabinet ministers and six ministers of state — were also sworn in. The five cabinet ministers are — Tawnluia, R Lalthangliana, Lalchamliana, Lalzirliana, and Lalrinsanga.

The six ministers of state are — K Lalrinliana, Lalchhandama Ralte, Lalruatkima, Dr. K Beichhua, T J Lalnuntluanga and Robert Romawia Ralte.

Chairman of Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitute Committee (MKHC), a conglomerate of 16 major churches in the state, Rev R Lalhmingthanga, read out from the Bible and offered prayers during the ceremony. The MNF came to power in Mizoram capturing 26 of the 40 seats in the state assembly in the recently held polls.

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Chhattisgarh Election 2018

Rahul Gandhi meets top Cong leaders to select next Chhattisgarh CM

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi | After selecting chief ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, Congress president Rahul Gandhi held hectic parleys with top party leaders on Saturday to decide on the top post for Chhattisgarh. Sources said Gandhi met Chhattisgarh’s four potential chief minister candidates — T S Singh Deo, Tamradhwaj Sahu, Bhupesh Baghel and Charan Das Mahant — at his Tughlaq Lane residence and held discussions with them.

This is the third round of discussion that the Congress chief is holding before selecting the chief minister for Chhattisgarh, where the party romped home to power after 15 years with a two-thirds majority. Congress‘ central observer Mallikarjun Kharge and AICC in-charge for party affairs in Chhattisgarh P L Punia were also present at the meeting.

The sources said UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were also present at the Congress chief’s residence. They said that a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) is slated to be held at 4.00 pm in Raipur, Chhattisgarh.

However, it was not clear whether the announcement would be made in the national capital or in Raipur.
The Congress Friday named Ashok Gehlot Rajasthan’s next chief minister after several rounds of discussions lasting more than two days. In Madhya Pradesh, Congress leader Kamal Nath was made chief minister-designate on December 13.

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