Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath on Friday resigned from the top post, as his government fell short of the majority mark. The Supreme Court had on Thursday ordered the Congress-led state government to prove its majority in the assembly by 5pm today.
Around 15 months after taking office, Nath’s government plunged into a crisis when 22 state legislators rebelled against him. The immediate trigger of the rebellion followed former union minister and senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya M. Scindia’s decision to quit Congress and join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“I have decided I will give my resignation to the governor. The only reason for this is I will not compromise on the values on which I have practised my politics. No one can point a finger at me when I was in government, or during the 15 years of BJP’s rule. I took over as the CM on 17 December 2018. During my political career, I have always believed in development," Nath said at a press conference.
The Congress government was in minority after Speaker N.P. Prajapati accepted the resignation of rebel MLAs late on Thursday evening. Nath met governor Lalji Tandon and submitted his resignation on Friday afternoon.
Before meeting the governor, Nath held a press conference blaming the BJP of conspiring against his government, and held Scindia responsible for bringing down the state government.
In his resignation letter, Nath said: “In my 40-year-long public life, I have always done politics of purity and valued democratic norms, and given priority to it. But what transpired in the last two weeks is a new chapter of devaluation of democratic values."
Since the crisis hit the Congress, the BJP leadership had been asking Nath to prove his majority on the floor of the House. “BJP has been trying to pull down our government since day one. Our MLAs were made hostage in Bengaluru...People will know the truth of BJP soon. BJP has betrayed the people of Madhya Pradesh. This betrayal is not just to me, but to the people of the state who gave Congress mandate for five years," said Nath in Bhopal.
He added that the state government was on the right path and working for the people. It had announced a farm loan waiver soon after coming to power, and alleged that the action of the BJP to destabilise the government was a betrayal to the farmers of the state. “We acted against the rule of mafia, and tried to make Madhya Pradesh safe. The state government also provided employment to the youth, because the BJP had failed to do it during its tenure. The BJP was in power for 15 years, but the farmers and the youth were suffering," Nath added.
In the 230-member assembly, Congress had won 114 seats and was in power with the help of 2 Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLAs and one Samajwadi Party legislator, and four independents. The BJP had won from 107 seats.
While talking to the media, Nath said the rebel Congress MLAs were held hostage in Bengaluru, but truth will come out. “BJP thinks that it can win by defeating the mandate of Madhya Pradesh. People will not forgive them."
Nath further said that the state government under him had fulfilled more than 400 promises that were made by Congress in its manifesto before the assembly election in 2018. “BJP betrayed the farmers by conspiring against me. The BJP did not like the people-centric works carried out by my government during our 15-month rule, so they kept conspiring against me," Nath said.