Rajat Sharma


AKB30 Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the new Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu with a warm hug on Wednesday, after the latter was sworn in as Chief Minister at a huge gathering in Medha IT Park in Kesarapalle near Vijayawada. Watched by South matinee idols Rajinikanth, Chiranjeevi, Ram Charan, Allu Arjun, NTR Junior and Mohan Babu, former Chief Justice of India N. V. Ramanna, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP president J P Nadda and former Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, the new AP CM was administered oath by Governor S. Abdul Nazeer. This is the fourth time Naidu has become Chief Minister, twice in undivided Andhra Pradesh and once in residual Andhra Pradesh. Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan was the next to oath as minister. In all, 24 MLAs from Telugu Desam Party, Jana Sena Party and BJP took oath as ministers. The three parties had jointly fought the assembly and Lok Sabha elections as part of NDA, and swept to power after almost decimating the ruling YSR Congress. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar was supposed to attend the ceremony, but he was not present. Speculations are rife about state BJP president D. Purandeshwari, who happens to be Naidu’s relative, being offered the post of Lok Sabha Speaker, but it is yet to be confirmed. Before the Andhra assembly and Lok Sabha elections, there were two options before BJP: either to join hands with Chandrababu Naidu or align with the incumbent CM Y S Jaganmohan Reddy. Several BJP leaders wanted the party to ally with YSR Congress, but Prime Minister Modi’s own assessment was that BJP should ally with Telugu Desam party. Jana Sena Party chief actor Pawan Kalyan played a leading role in forging NDA in Andhra Pradesh. He was described by Modi at the NDA meeting as “Pawan Nahin, Aandhi Hai” (he is not the wind, by a storm). The results are there for all to see. TDP won 16 seats, and is the major ally of NDA government at the Centre.


Odisha will get its first BJP government on Wednesday with Mohan Charan Majhi, a tribal leader, to be sworn in as Chief Minister in Bhubaneswar. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior BJP leaders will be attending the oath-taking ceremony. Two deputy chief ministers, Pravati Parida and Kanak Vardhan Singhdeo will also take oath. Their names were announced on Tuesday at the meeting of BJP legislative party by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Mohan Majhi was elected from Keonjhar by a huge margin of 87,000 votes. His father worked as a watchman, while Majhi began his career as a school teacher in Saraswati Sishu Mandir. He later became a sarpanch and was elected MLA four times. Odisha is witnessing a new government after a gap of 24 years of Naveen Patnaik’s uninterrupted rule. Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal lost the assembly and Lok Sabha elections this time because of the chief minister’s former private secretary V K Pandian. Pandian, a bureaucrat, was handling both the party and state bureaucracy. BJD leaders could not meet Naveen Patnaik directly because of Pandian, who originally hailed from Tamil Nadu and worked in Odisha as a bureaucrat. During the election campaign, Naveen Babu, due to poor health, could not campaign hard, and it was Pandian who was addressing election meetings. At one stage, Pandian was seen as a successor of Naveen Patnaik. BJP made “Odia Asmita” (pride) an issue, and campaigned among voters that Odisha was being run by a Tamil bureaucrat. This ultimately became the gamechanger for BJP in Odisha election. BJP won 20 out of 21 Lok Sabha seats, and secured majority in the 147-member assembly.

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