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Political Bureau

New governments took over in five states after the elections in March.  The results declared on March 11 were eagerly awaited.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formed governments in four of five states. Only in Punjab, the opposition Congress made clear gains, where the BJP backed Akali Dal party was displaced and finished second.

The most spectacular victory of BJP was registered in India’s biggest state Uttar Pradesh, where the party rode back to power after 25 years, winning 312 out of total 431 seats.

Many political analysts had portrayed UP election as the semi-final to the Lok Sabha election in 2019 and it was a litmus test for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A brief profile of the new chief ministers is given.

Swamy Aditya Nath, Uttar Pradesh   

 In UP, the BJP chose sitting MP Swamy Aditya Nath to lead the government. He is five times MP from Gorakhpur in Eastern UP. The 44-year-old bachelor holds a B.Sc degree in Mathematics and the original name is Ajay Singh Bisht.

Captain Amarinder  Singh, Punjab

Amarinder Singh is making a second coming as CM after 2007. His term from 2002-2007 was followed by a non-stop 10-year rule of the Akali-BJP combine, In the 117 seat assembly, Congress won 77 seats. The 75-yeral old Singh belongs to the royal family of Patiala and a former army officer. He is an alumnus of Doon school.

Trivendra Singh Rawat, Uttarakhand

 In the 70 seat legislature of the hill state, BJP won 57 seats reducing the incumbent ruling party Congress to 11 seats.  Rawat is known for his anti-corruption crusades.  He has committed to bringing the chief minister office under the ambit of state anti-corruption body Lokayukta.

Manohar Parikar, Goa

Manohar Parikar became the consensus choice of an alliance of small parties led by BJP in Goa though the part slipped to become the second largest party at the hustings. The largest party in the 40-member assembly was Congress with 17 MLAs. The party failed to secure the support of smaller parties to form a government.  Parikar, serving as Union defense minister became the favorite of supporting parties and made BJP’s one more term in Goa.

N Biren Singh, Manipur

 Biren Singh was a national- level footballer and was with Democratic Revolutionary People’s Party and Congress before joining the BJP in 2016. He has served as Minister of Irrigation and Sports in previous Congress governments. He has been a journalist as well. In the 60- state assembly, BJP and allies have the support of 32 members while the largest part congress has 28 members.