Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan will be again sworn in as the CM today. The oath-taking will be held this evening, reports confirmed. The swearing-in of Chauhan would come days barely after the resignation of Kamal Nath after the Congress failed to win back the 22 rebel legislators. This paved the way for Chouhan’s return to power after 15 months.
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 fewer seats.
Chouhan’s oath to the office will be administered by Governor Lalji Tandon at 9 pm today in Bhopal. With this swearing-in, 60-year-old Chouhan would become a four-time Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister. He had first held the chair in 2005, followed by consecutive victories in 2008 and 2013, which allowed him to remain the chief minister for 13 years ending in December 2018.
For the past 15 months, Nath had been leading a wafer-thin majority government in Madhya Pradesh, comprising of the Congress, along with two BSP, 1 SP, and two independent MLAs. The fragile government lost the majority after 22 Congress legislators went missing earlier this month. Among them, 16 first submitted their resignations, followed by six others.
The rebel MLAs, considered close to Congress-turned-BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, joined the saffron camp on Sunday – days after Scindia ended his 18-year stint in the Congress and joined the Modi-Shah-Nadda-headed party.
Chauhan, in the days to come, would have to prove his majority in the Madhya Pradesh assembly. With the 22 resignations, the effective majority in the House has been reduced to 105. The BJP, with 107 MLAs, is expected to sail through in the floor test. The rebel MLAs are likely to recontest from their constituencies in the by-elections — this time on the BJP ticket. Congress has 92 MLAs.