Bhopal/New Delhi: Tiding over internal troubles and factionalism, Congress party in a late Thursday night development announced 72 year old Kamal Nath as the next chief minister of Madhya Pradesh.
With this, Nath, a former union minister and nine-time Lok Sabha member from Chhindwara constituency of Madhya Pradesh, breaks the 15 year long run of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state. He is also the first Congress chief minister in the last five years to succeed a BJP chief minister.
The announcement was made on late Tuesday night by of A K Antony, former union minister and party observer for the state. Antony said Nath was being elected “unanimously" as the new Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader at meeting of the newly elected MLAs.
“It is a challenging time and we will all together fulfil the promises made in our ‘Vachan Patra’," Nath said in Bhopal when asked about Congress’ main poll promise of farm loan waiver in the state’s manifesto.
After the announcement, Nath thanked Jyotiraditya Scindia, senior party leader and campaign committee chief, by saying: “He has supported me and that matters a lot."
He added that he was “hungry" for Congress’ return to power in the state and asserted that the party has got “unconditional" support from Mayawati led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Akhilesh Yadav led Samajwadi Party (SP).
Hours before the announcement, Congress president Rahul Gandhi shared a photo of him with Scindia and Nath on Twitter and quoted Leo Tolstoy as “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time."
Congress’ troubles over chief ministerial selection however continues in both Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Both the top leaders, Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot, held another round of late night meetings with Gandhi on Tuesday but senior party leaders say issues are yet to be ironed out.
Gandhi is also expected to meet leaders from Chhattisgarh on Friday to further the discussions.
PTI contributed to the story.