Shivraj Singh Chouhan sworn in as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister (Photo Credit: PTI/File)
Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday took oath as chief minister of Madhya Pradesh for the fourth time, over 15 months after his government was voted out of power. The 61-year-old BJP leader took oath at Raj Bhawan at 9 pm. He was sworn in by Governor Lalji Tandon.
Shivraj Singh Chouhan was earlier in the day elected leader of the state BJP legislature party at its meeting in the party office in the state. Due to the coronavirus situation, no BJP leader from Delhi travelled to Bhopal for the legislature party meeting, though the party''s central observers Arun Singh and Vinay Sahasrabuddhe participated through video conferencing.
Popularly known among his followers as ''Mamaji'', Chouhan was sworn in chief minister of Madhya Pradesh thrice earlier - in 2005, after Uma Bharti stepped down over a riots case, and for later two full terms in 2008 and 2013.
He stepped down after the Congress won a narrow majority in the December 2018 Assembly elections, after which the Kamal Nath government came to power.
Stumped by the rebellion of party colleague Jyodiraditya Scindia, who joined the BJP and resignations of 22 Congress MLAs, Nath resigned as chief minister last week, paving way for Chouhan''s return.
Earlier, Congress veteran Kamal Nath resigned as chief minister recently, paving the way for formation of the BJP-led government.
"I have decided to submit my resignations to the governor...But I will continue to work for the welfare of the people," Kamal Nath had said.
Accusing the BJP of plotting against him, Kamal Nath warned those who breached the trust of the people.
Even before the announcement, speculations were rife that Kamal Nath might announce his resignation rather than face the floor test during the press conference. These speculations were further boosted after senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh conceded that they 'did not have the numbers' to survive the floor test. The floor test for the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh to prove its majority in the Assembly was scheduled for 2.00 pm on Friday.
Meanwhile, Twenty-two Congress legislators, who resigned amid a political crisis in Madhya Pradesh after Jyotiraditya Scindia jumped ship to BJP, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday in presence of party president JP Nadda. Jyotiraditya Scindia, who recently joined the party in the national capital, was present along with the BJP chief. Apart from him, two key leaders of Madhya Pradesh -- Narendra Tomar and Kailash Vijayvargiya were also present.