New Delhi: Veteran Congress leader Kamal Nath would be sworn in as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister on Monday, December 17, said ANI. The Congress named Nath as the next chief minister after hours of hectic parleys between party chief Rahul Gandhi and senior party leaders. (Also read: Sonia Gandhi Calls Victory a Win Over BJP’s Negative Politics)
Accompanied by Jyotiraditya Scindia who was in contention for the top post, Nath said as the new Chief Minister he would ensure all promises made by the Congress were fulfilled. Insisting that there were no “camps”, Nath said he had no problems with Scindia and maintained good relations with all leaders in the state.
Asked about the Congress’s manifesto promise of farm loan waiver, he said, “It is a challenging time and we will all together fulfil the promises made in our ‘Vachan Patra’.” Nath, who has earlier held multiple portfolios in the union cabinet, recalled his association with the former prime minister Indira Gandhi and said it was she who had introduced him to Chhindwara, which has since become his home turf, electing him to Lok Sabha nine times.
He also said that he has had the privilege of working with Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and now Rahul Gandhi. Nath also thanked Scindia and said he had also worked with his father, late Madhavrao Scindia. “He has supported me and that matters a lot,” he said.
Nath’s name was announced by party observer for the state AK Antony after he was elected “unanimously” as the new Congress Legislative Party leader at the meeting of the newly-elected MLAs.
His name was decided after marathon meetings at party president Rahul Gandhi’s residence in the national capital, attended by various senior leaders, including Sonia Gandhi. Rahul’s sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had also reached the Tughlaq Lane house when the deliberations were on, but it could not be confirmed whether she was also a participant.
Soon after arriving in Bhopal, Nath and Scindia reached the Congress state headquarters, and held a meeting of party’s newly elected MLAs and conveyed the party high command’s decision. Nath, who was appointed as president of the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee on April 26, is credited with having steered the party to a win in the just-concluded assembly polls, in which the party bagged 114 seats.
The Congress has secured the support of a total of 121 MLAs, including SP (1) and BSP (2) legislators as also of four Independents, to cross the majority mark of 116 seats in the 230-member assembly.
The BJP, which ruled the state for 15 years, got 109 seats in the elections. Shivraj Singh Chouhan was the state’s longest-serving Chief Minister since taking charge in 2005.