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3 Congress CMs take oath of office

Nath waives farmers’ loan up to Rs 2 lakh, fulfils Rahul’s poll promise

As three newly-elected Congress Chief Ministers took the oath of office on Monday in back-to-back ceremonies, Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath announced a major gift for the debt-ridden farmers of the State. Loans of up to Rs 2 lakh of the farmers will be waived with Nath signing a file to the effect within two hours of taking charge. The move follows a promise by Congress president Rahul Gandhi during the poll campaign. After Nath signed on the file pertaining to waiving off farmers’ loans of up to Rs 2 lakh, Principal Secretary, Farmers’ Welfare and Agriculture Development Department, Rajesh Rajora issued the loan waiver order. The order said: Madhya Pradesh Government has taken a decision to write off short-term crop loan of eligible farmers up to the limit of Rs 2 lakh, as on March 31, 2018, from nationalized and cooperative banks. The promise of loan waiver is top priority for the three newly-elected Congress Government. On Sunday, ahead of his oath-taking ceremony Ashok Gehlot had said that as promised by Rahul Gandhi his Government would act on loan waiver promise with 10 days of Cabinet formation. A host of Opposition leaders attended the three oath-taking ceremonies of Ashok Gehlot, Kamal Nath and Bhupesh Baghel as Chief Ministers of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh respectively on Monday. However, BSP chief Mayawati, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were conspicuous by their absence. While Congress president Rahul Gandhi attended all the three events, other prominent Opposition leaders who attended the events were former Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh, HD Deve Gowda, Chief Ministers of few States including Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, former Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, former Union Ministers Sharad Yadav and Sharad Pawar amongst others. The absence of the Mamata, Mayawati and Akhilesh is significant because all three also skipped the unveiling of late DMK patriarch Karunanidhi’s statute in Chennai on Tuesday. A section of the Opposition is unhappy over the fact that DMK chief Stalin suggested the name of Rahul Gandhi as Prime Minister at the rally in Chennai on Tuesday. Former CMs and Uttar Pradesh rivals Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati who too were extended the invitations for the swearing-in skipped it though both of them have supported the Congress in the Hindi heartland States. Gehlot, Nath and Baghel’s predecessors — Vasundhara Raje, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Raman Singh — also attended the swearing-in ceremonies at Jaipur, Bhopal and Raipur, accordingly. Besides Shivraj Singh Chouhan, former CMs of the State Kailash Joshi and Babulal Gaur were also present on the stage. Other prominent leaders who made it to celebrate the Congress’ return to power in Jaipur and a few of them in Bhopal included MK Stalin, Kanimozhi (DMK), Tejashwi Yadav (RJD), Dinesh Trivedi (AITC), Hemant Soren (JMM), Jiten Ram Manjhi (HAM), Babu Lal Marandi (JVM), PK Kunhalikutti (IUML), Badrudin Ajmal (AIUDF), Raju Shetty (Swabhimani Paksha), Sanjay Singh (AAP), Jose K Mani (KCM) and NK Premchandran (RSP). Rahul shared photographs from the swearing-in ceremony and of a bus in Jaipur in which top Opposition leaders were seen sitting with him. The leaders in the vehicle included Sharad Pawar, Stalin, Farooq Abdullah and Sharad Yadav. In a tweet, the Gandhi scion thanked the people of the three States for believing in the party and vowed that the State Government will fulfil its responsibilities. While Gehlot was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Sachin Pilot took oath as a Cabinet Minister and the party announced that Pilot will be the State’s Deputy Chief Minister. Former Union Minister Kamal Nath took oath as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister at a ceremony attended by a galaxy of leaders. Governor Anandiben Patel administered the oath of office to 72-year-old Nath, who led the Congress to victory in the recently-concluded State Assembly polls. Another front runner for CM face in MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, former MP Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh, Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, Puducherry CM V Narayanswamy, senior Congress leaders Anand Sharma, Raj Babbar and Rajiv Shukla were among those who attended the ceremony at Bhopal. Late in the evening, Baghel too was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh by Governor Anandiben Patel. MLAs TS Singh Deo and Tamradhwaj Sahu, who were front-runners for the CM’s post, were also sworn in as Ministers in the presence of Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan Singh. Others who made to Raipur after the change in time and venue due to rain were Mallikarjun Kharge, Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot, Narayansamy, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sidhu, Farooq Abdullah and Sharad Yadav. Congress won 68 seats in the 90-member House. The BJP, which was in power in the State since 2003, bagged just 15 seats in the elections. Read more posts… Tuesday, 18 December 2018 | PNS | Bhopal/Jaipur/Raipur–

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