Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan is likely to take oath as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister at 7pm on Monday, NDTV reported. The move came three days after Congress leader Kamal Nath stepped down from the post.
Nath had resigned ahead of a floor test in the state’s Assembly on Friday. Addressing a press conference, Nath had accused BJP of being unable to tolerate his administration’s achievements, and accused the party of betraying the “public mandate”.
Following Nath’s announcement, several BJP leaders, including Chouhan, were seen celebrating outside the party’s office in Bhopal. Chouhan had asked the Congress to introspect on the reason behind its government’s collapse.
Following the Supreme Court’s deadline to conduct the floor test, Assembly Speaker NP Prajapati had on Thursday night accepted the resignations of the 16 rebel Congress MLAs who have been in Bengaluru since March 9.
Governor Lalji Tandon had ordered a floor test after the MLAs, loyal to Scindia, sent their resignations to him. However, the Assembly was on March 16 adjourned without a floor test till March 26 as a preventive step to contain the coronavirus. On the same evening, the governor warned the chief minister that if the state government failed to prove its majority in the Assembly on March 17, “it would be deemed that your government is not in majority”.
The BJP then moved the Supreme Court seeking a floor test. A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta overrode the Speaker’s decision to adjourn the session to March 26, and asked for the floor test to be conducted by 5 pm on Friday.
Late on Thursday, Assembly Speaker NP Prajapati accepted the resignations of the 16 rebel Congress MLAs who have been in Bengaluru since March 9. With this, and the Speaker’s acceptance of the resignations of six former ministers – the effective strength of the House went down to 206. The 22 MLAs joined the BJP on Saturday.
Until early March, the state government, which was formed in late 2018, had the support of 121 MLAs in the 230-seat Assembly – 114 MLAs of the Congress, and the rest being from the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, and some Independents. The BJP has 107 MLAs, while two seats are vacant.