With Kamal Nath as Madhya Pradesh CM, Congress promises 'era of change'

Congress won Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh polls and emerged as the largest party in Madhya Pradesh. 

With Kamal Nath as Madhya Pradesh CM, Congress promises 'era of change'

The Congress on Thursday night named veteran leader Kamal Nath as Madhya Pradesh's next chief minister, after hours of hectic parleys held by the party chief Rahul Gandhi with senior party leaders. Nath, 72, reached Bhopal late on Thursday night to be greeted with chants of 'Jai Jai Kamal Nath' by his supporters at the airport and headed straight for the party office for a meeting of the newly-elected MLAs to select their leader. Nath, who served as union minister in the previous Congress-led governments, has been a top contender for the chief minister post ever since his party won against the ruling BJP, which was in power in this central Indian state for 15 years. Another senior party leader and former union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia was also in the race.

However, the chief minister of Rajasthan was still on a cliffhanger as suspense between senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot and youth leader Sachin Pilot continued till late night. Congress president Rahul Gandhi has called for another meeting with Sachin Pilot. and later also with Gehlot. 

READ | Divide within Congress spills to Chhattisgarh 

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Here are the highlights:

# Madhya Pradesh CM designate Kamal Nath said he will be meeting the Governor Anandiben Patel on Friday at 10.30 am.

# After the announcement, Kamal Nath said, "This position is a milestone for me. On December 13, Indira ji came to Chhindwara. I was entrusted to the public. I thank Jyotiraditya Scindia for his support. I worked with his father. So glad to have his support. The next step is a challenge. Together we will fulfil our 'Vachan Patra'. I have no greed for the post. I had no demand. I dedicated my whole life to the Congress party without greed for any post. I worked with Sanjay Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, and now Rahul Gandhi."

# Kamal Nath is the next chief minister of Madhya Pradesh. However, there will not be a Deputy Chief Minister in the state.

# As Madhya Pradesh Congress gears up to announce the new chief minister of the state, Rahul Gandhi has called for another meeting with Sachin Pilot again late on Thursday night. Ashok Gehlot is also expected to meet Rahul, according to sources.

# Chhattisgarh: Congress leader TS Singh Deo will arrive in Delhi on Friday morning along with state chief Bhupesh Baghel and Charan Das Mahant. 

# Rajasthan: Karauli MLA Lakhan Singh has been appointed as the leader of the BSP legislature party.

# Kamal Nath reaches Bhopal airport. The countdown for Madhya Pradesh Congress  Legislative Party meeting to begin soon. The announcement for the chief minister will be done shortly.

# Madhya Pradesh Congress likely to announce chief minister at 11 pm.

# While leaving Rahul Gandhi's residence, Jyotiraditya Scindia said, "It is not a race, it is not about 'kursi' (chair), we are here to serve the people of Madhya Pradesh. I am leaving for Bhopal and you will get to know the decision today."

# Congress leader Kamal Nath leaves Rahul Gandhi's residence. "I am leaving for Bhopal, MLAs meeting will be held there and we will announce the chief minister name after that," says the Congress leader.

# Madhya Pradesh: Suspense over Madhya Pradesh chief minister continues. The state Congress Legislative Party meeting has been further postponed to 10 pm today (Thursday).

# Gehlot, who was on his way to Jaipur, was asked to return from the airport by Rahul Gandhi.

# Congress leader Ashok Gehlot said that the decision on the CMs will be announced soon. "There is nothing to worry. Just wait, the decision has to be taken on CMs of three states so naturally, it takes time. Party president will take a call. I appeal to workers to maintain calm, they have worked very hard, whatever decisions will be taken will be binding on all. Rahul is talking to and consulting all leaders," says Gehlot.

# Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath reaches the residence of Rahul Gandhi where Jyotiraditya Scindia is already present.

# Amid conflicts over Rajasthan chief minister, sources say that Rahul Gandhi wants Sachin Pilot as chief minister and Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are in support of Ashok Gehlot.

Madhya Pradesh: Suspense over Madhya Pradesh chief minister continues. The state Congress Legislative Party meeting has been postponed to 8.30 pm today (Thursday).

# Rajasthan: Congress leader Sachin Pilot assured full confidence in Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Soni Gandhi and said the decision taken by them will be welcomed by all the party leaders. He also appealed the party workers to maintain peace. Pilot took to Twitter saying that it is the responsibility of the leaders and workers to uphold the honour of the party. "I appeal to party workers to maintain peace and decorum. I have full faith in the leadership, we will welcome whatever Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi decide. It is our responsibility to uphold the honour of the party, we are dedicated to the party," tweeted Pilot.  

# Rajasthan: Supporters of Sachin Pilot block roads in Karauli town of Rajasthan. They also blocked the Ajmer highway creating a ruckus. A supporter of Pilot climbed a water tank at Bandikui in Dausa district threatening suicide if Pilot isn't made the chief minister.

Rajasthan: Sachin Pilot's closest supporter and Rajasthan Congress spokesperson Inder Mohan Singh, sent resignation to Congress president Rahul Gandhi over the delay in announcing Pilot as chief minister.

# Chhattisgarh: Chaos outside the residence of Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel in Raipur, Chhattisgarh, over the chief ministerial candidate.

# Madhya Pradesh: Amid reports that Kamal Nath's name has been finalised for the top post in Madhya Pradesh, Scindia's supporters have started to protest outside the party office in Bhopal. His supporters are raising slogans in favour of Scindia as the CM.

# Madhya Pradesh: While Congress is currently in a huddle, sources say that the final decision to make Kamal Nath the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh has been taken. Sources also say that Jyotiraditya Scindia has been offered the position of Deputy CM but he is unlikely to accept it.

# Sonia Gandhi reaches Rahul's residence. Other senior party leaders also present for discussions. There were earlier reports that Rahul will hold a press conference at 4 pm but it has been deferred for now. 

# Out of 99 MLAs, 25 in favour of Pilot being the CM: Sources

# Final CM and Deputy CM names will be announced by Thursday evening. Rajasthan CM's name is likely to be announced at 4 pm today.

# CP Joshi's name suggested for Deputy Chief Minister, say sources. 

# Congress leader Ashok Gehlot's meet with Rahul Gandhi ends. 

# Congress leader Sachin Pilot leaves from Congress President Rahul Gandhi's residence in Delhi after meeting him.

# Supporters of Congress leader Sachin Pilot gather outside All India Congress Committee headquarters in Delhi, raising slogans demanding selection of Pilot as Rajasthan Chief Minister.



# Anger among cadres over sidelining of Pilot and Scindia. Party top command trying to pacify: Sources

# Sachin Pilot and Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia being considered for Deputy Chief Ministers' positions: Sources

# Priyanka Vadra reaches Rahul Gandhi's home

# "You will see chief ministers soon, taking views of MLAs, party workers," says Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.

# "Observers have taken into account everyone's views. Rahul Gandhi will take a call on the matter peacefully. We had a fruitful conversation yesterday. A decision will be taken today," Ashok Gehlot to Zee News.

#KC Venugopal, All India Congress Committee observer for Rajasthan, arrives at Congress President Rahul Gandhi's residence in Delhi pic.twitter.com/c6NDSTkMhb


# A meeting of Madhya Pradesh Congress MLAs to be held at 4 pm in Bhopal.

#Congress leaders Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot in Delhi to meet Congress President Rahul Gandhi. A decision on who will be the next Rajasthan Chief Minister is likely to be announced today.

#Veteran Congress leaders Kamal Nath, Ashok Gehlot and Bhupesh Baghel appear to have emerged as the frontrunners in the race for chief ministership in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

#The newly-elected members in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan met on Wednesday to take a final call on who will be the Chief Minister in their states. The central observers are expected to reach Delhi and apprise Gandhi of their assessment, which included consultations with individual MLAs. 

#Party leaders and contenders for chief ministership Kamal Nath and Jyotiradtiya Scindia in Madhya Pradesh and Gehlot and Sachin Pilot in Rajasthan met the Governors of their states and staked claim to form the government on Wednesday.