Kamal Nath likely to be Madhya Pradesh CM

Kamal Nath likely to be Madhya Pradesh CM

Madhya Pradesh Congress president Kamal Nath and party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia after meeting the governor to stake claim to form the government in Bhopal. PTI

Veteran Congress leader Kamal Nath will most likely be the next chief minister of Madhya Pradesh.

The announcement is likely to be made any time after Congress President Rahul Gandhi gives a formal approval.

The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) unanimously adopted a one-line resolution on Wednesday authorising the party high command to take a decision on the next chief minister. The resolution was passed under the supervision of party central observer A K Antony.

The action-packed day saw a series of quick developments, starting with the declaration of final results by the Election Commission in the early hours. With 114 seats in the 230-strong Assembly, a Congress government in Madhya Pradesh after 15 years was a foregone conclusion.

State unit president Kamal Nath had already contacted four Independent MLAs, all Congress rebels. The Bahujan Samaj Party (two seats) and Samajwadi Party (one seat) have also announced support to the Congress.

Sensing the impossibility of staking claim to form a government for the fourth time, the BJP, with 109 seats, decided to sit in the Opposition. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan submitted his resignation to Governor Anandiben Patel.

At a press conference in the BJP headquarters, Chouhan took responsibility for the party’s defeat with remarkable humility. He said though the BJP got more votes than the Congress it failed to get the required seats to form the government.

Kamal Nath later met the governor to stake claim to form the government. He was accompanied by party leaders Digvijaya Singh and Jyotiraditya Scindia. They had sought an appointment with the governor in the early hours of Wednesday, but the governor asked the Congress leaders to wait until the Election Commission hands over certificates to all 230 MLAs. Congress heeded her advice.

In the evening, central observer A K Antony was greeted at the state Congress headquarters where the newly elected Congress MLAs gathered to elect its leader. However, in line with party tradition, the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) adopted a one-line resolution, authorising Rahul Gandhi to name its leader.

At the meeting, it was pretty apparent that Kamal Nath will be chosen the new CLP leader. Scindia, the other frontrunner for the post, appeared reconciled to the high command’s decision.