BHOPAL: On expected lines, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was unanimously elected the BJP legislature party’s new leader in the central Indian state on Monday. Chouhan was slated to meet Governor Lalji Tandon later and has formally taken claim for forming BJP government in the state.
Presently the BJP national vice president and three times former CM, Shivraj Singh Chouhan was sworn as the state’s 19th CM at a simple ceremony at the Raj Bhawan at 9 pm, after which he could chair an emergency meeting of state government on the rising Coronavirus threat.
Speculations are rife about the UP model being followed in MP with swearing in of two deputy CM’s (possibly Narottam Mishra and any of the Scindia loyalists) in the days to come.
Bhopal: Shivraj Singh Chouhan has been elected as the leader of BJP legislative party in Madhya Pradesh, at the meeting held at the party office. MP Observer Arun Singh, and state in-charge Vinay Sahasrabuddhe joined in the meeting from Delhi via video conference. pic.twitter.com/Y2aXQoN5ky— ANI (@ANI) March 23, 2020
The 61-year-old Chouhan who was the state’s CM between 2005 and 2018 was elected the BJP legislature party leader at the meeting of MLAs, which was overseen by party national general secretary Arun Singh (who was appointed the central observer for the meet) and party national vice president in-charge for the state Vinay Sahastrabudhe through video conferencing from Delhi.
“Owing to the Coronavirus threat, this is possibly the first time that a legislature party is being conducted through remote control (video conferencing),” said Sahastrabudhe.
Addressing the meeting, Chouhan accused the previous Kamal Nath-led Congress government of destroying everything, but added he won’t like to go into details at this juncture. He promised change in style of governance in the next BJP government by taking everyone along the board in all decisions.
On combating Coronavirus threat, Chouhan said nothing else, but combating the Coronavirus threat is the utmost priority and indicated holding a meeting of top officials to take stock of the situation and devise strategies to combat the growing threat.
As a BJP worker, I'll work honestly for development of MP. But right now the aim is to stop spread of #COVID19. I've appealed to party workers to not celebrate the oath-taking ceremony¬ come out on streets. They should stay at home & pray for the newly formed govt: SS Chouhan https://t.co/8FhYqLMqXF pic.twitter.com/7esdGQhFWr— ANI (@ANI) March 23, 2020
Earlier at the meeting, Chouhan’s name for legislature party leader was proposed by outgoing legislature party leader and Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava, who had quit as the legislature party leader just an hour before the meeting.
“I pray to god that the BJP doesn’t have to sit in opposition ever in future and no one in the party has to become Leader of Opposition again,” said Bhargava.
The proposal moved by Bhargava was supported by various MLAs, including Gopilal Jatav and ex-minister Narottam Mishra, who was himself a contender for the top post.
New government formation was necessitated by the fall of the 15-month-old Kamal Nath-led Congress government on Friday. Nath had resigned as the CM on Friday afternoon just a few hours before the Supreme Court-directed floor test for proving his majority was to be held in the Vidhan Sabha.
The fall was the Congress government was scripted by the resignation of 22 Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalist MLAs on March 10, just a few hours after Scindia resigned from the Congress and joined the BJP later.
In the present 205-member Vidhan Sabha, the BJP has 106 seats which is three more than simple majority figure of 103, while the Congress has 92 MLAs. One of the four independents and outgoing mining minister Pradeep Jaiswal, who had supported the Congress government for 15 month has already announced supporting the new government.