Madhya Pradesh: Shivraj Singh Chouhan takes oath as CM
BJP vice-president Shivraj Singh Chouhan took oath as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister for a fourth term on Monday. Chouhan was elected earlier today as the leader of the BJP legislature party.
The 61-year-old was chief minister of Madhya Pradesh for three terms between 2005 and 2018 before the BJP lost the 2018 assembly elections after voters gave a fractured mandate. The BJP had won 109 seats while the Congress won 114 and the latter formed the government with the support of four Independents, one SP and two BSP members.
The 15-month-old Congress government fell when CM Kamal Nath resigned on March 20 before facing the Supreme Court mandated trust vote. The vote was necessitated after former Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and 22 Congress legislators rebelled.
The party was expected to hold the meet on Saturday but chose to postpone it without giving a date. ON Monday, the meet was suddenly called with the party making it clear it will take the opinion of legislators who can't make it to Bhopal on phone.
Since it was not possible for central observers to come to Bhopal the party arranged video conferencing. Most BJP legislators who turned up for the meet wore masks and sat on alternate chairs. The party had warned cadres not to throng to the headquarters for the meeting.
Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar was another strong contender for the CM post but the BJP chose Chouhan for his experience and because his popularity was still intact. The BJP had got more votes in 2018 but less seats.
Chouhan said the BJP would have formed the government even then but sat in the opposition.
(Inputs and image from theindianexpress.com)