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Third 'son' of Indira Gandhi, 9-time MP Kamal Nath is the new CM of Madhya Pradesh


New Delhi, Dec 13: The Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Thursday appointed Kamal Nath as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh. He is a nine-time Member of Parliament from Chhindwara. Though Kamal Nath is not contesting the Assembly elections, voters in Chhindwara have been lured in his name with slogans of 'Kamal Nath as CM'.

File photo of Kamal Nath

However, while he dominates in the region in Lok Sabha polls, the Congress has been unable to defeat the BJP in Assembly polls here. In 2013, Congress won only three out of the seven seats in Chhindwara district but Kamal Nath went on to win the Lok Sabha seat for the ninth time. The BJP, meanwhile, is confident that such slogans will not help the Congress and have maintained that anti-incumbency for the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government is not a factor in the polls.

The Doon School alumnus was close to Sanjay Gandhi and was a faithful of former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Narasimha Rao and now, close to party president Rahul Gandhi, a Doon School alumnus himself. He stood by Indira Gandhi in her fight against Morarji Desai in 1979 and now, four decades later, the loyalist steeled his grit and put all his political acumen to regain the state and oust Madhya Pradesh's longest-serving chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who served three consecutive terms.

Till Sanjay lived, Nath was seen as Mrs Gandhi's third son. The slogan "Indira Gandhi ke do haath, Sanjay Gandhi, Kamal Nath" was quite popular in the 80s.

He represents the Chhindwara constituency of Madhya Pradesh. He was a member and the pro tem Speaker of the current 16th Lok Sabha. The senior Congress leader has also served as a Union minister in many capacities during the UPA rule.

Nath was made the president of Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee in May to lead the party's campaign in the upcoming assembly election in the state.

[Experience over youth: Congress chooses Kamal Nath over Scindia for MP Chief Minister]

The former Union minister has, however, still not made a decision whether he will contest the upcoming assembly elections. If Congress comes to power in Madhya Pradesh, then Kamal Nath undoubtedly is the front-runner for the chief minister's post. Congress stalwart Kamal Nath has never contested an assembly election before.

The senior Congress leader has since 1980 been the Lok Sabha MP from Chhindwara for ten terms. He has been invincible from the Chhindwara Lok Sabha seat except for once when in 1997 he was defeated by former chief minister Sundarlal Patwa. Today, he is the seniormost MP in the Lok Sabha, the reason why he was made protem Speaker after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

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