Kamal Nath sworn in as MP CM

Bhopal: Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath, who steered his party to victory in Madhya Pradesh, was on Monday sworn in as its 18th chief minister, bringing to an end 15 years of BJP rule in the state which had become the saffron party’s stronghold.
The nine-time MP and former union minister was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Anandiben Patel at a function held at the Jambori Maidan on a day the Delhi High Court convicted Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, triggering demands that Kamal Nath should not be made chief minister.
The 72-year-old Kamal Nath, who represented Chhindwara for nine terms in the Lok Sabha, was the only one to take the oath even as the other contender to the chief minister’s post, Jyotiraditya Scindia, was present. The ceremony was held an hour behind schedule at 2.30 pm.
The brief ceremony was attended by Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and H D Deve Gowda, outgoing chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, another former BJP chief minister Babulal Gaur and a galaxy of national leaders in a show of opposition unity ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Among the opposition stalwarts present were NCP leaders Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and his Karnataka counterpart H D Kumaraswamy, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi, JMM chief Hemant Soren, DMK leaders M K Stalin, T R Balu and Kanimozhi, Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Shard Yadav and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana leader and MP Raju Shetti.
BSP chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, whose parties have extended support to the Congress government, were conspicuous by their absence. — IANS