The Hush Post|09:15am| 1-min-read
Attending three oath taking ceremonies back to back was a herculean task, but the Congress thought to make the most of it. The party packed a busload of leaders primarily from the Opposition and hopped from one ceremony to another.
In the bus, Rahul Gandhi sat in the front with former prime minister Manmohan Singh. Sachin Pilot and Jyotiraditya Scindia, the young leaders who lost out in the race for the chief minister’s post in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh sat together.
A perfect photo-op, others on the bus included Navjot Singh Sidhu, Sharad Pawar, Chandrababu Naidu, Tejashwi Yadav, MK Stalin, Farooq Abdullah, Kanimozhi, Praful Patel and Sharad Yadav. The oath ceremonies started from Jaipur, then Bhopal and ended at Raipur.
The leaders travelled on special flights to make it to all three events. All the Opposition leaders were ushered on to the stage at the ceremonies. For a part of the journey, Tejashwi Yadav, the son of RJD leader Lalu Yadav, joined Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan Singh on their flight. All the leaders arrived and left together, even if not on the same flight.
Ashok Gehlot, after his swearing in, joined the other leaders in Bhopal for Kamal Nath’s swearing-in.
Jyotiraditya Scindia got a warm hug from his aunt Vasundhara Raje, the outgoing chief minister, as they met at Gehlot’s oath ceremony.
However, three prominent passengers ,Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee and Akhilesh Yadav, missed the bus. They have reportedly objected to MK Stalin’s proposal that Rahul Gandhi be the joint opposition candidate for prime-ministership in 2019 LS elections.
Nonetheless, Congress had on Monday morning “turned down” Stalin’s offer. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had said, “We will wait for the results next May”.
Kamal Nath waives off farmer loans
Meanwhile, the new Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister has declared a loan waiver of up to Rs 2 lakh for small farmers, as promised in the manifesto. Rahul Gandhi confirmed it with a tweet: ” CM, Madhya Pradesh, waives farm loans. 1 done. 2 to go”.