Shivraj Singh Chouhan takes charge as the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh on Monday, March 23. Chouhan took the charge for a record fourth term. The oath-taking ceremony was administered by Lalji Tandon, Governor of the state.
The first crucial challenge for Chouhan would be the Assembly bypolls to 24 seats. 22 seats were held by Congress rebels who resigned and 2 seats are vacant due to death of two MLAs each from Congress and BJP. There are 107 BJP members in the 230-member Assembly. Therefore the results of the bypoll would be decisive if the government stays or falls.
Further, it is important to see if Chouhan forms the Cabinet including the Congress rebels or if he waits for bypolls to take place.
Earlier, the Government of Madhya Pradesh was formed by the Congress which won 114 seats in the Assembly polls last December. The party formed the government with the support of four Independents, one SP and two BSP members. The Congress lost majority after 22 MLAs rebelled earlier in this month. The rebel Congress members were led by former Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. And, Kamal Nath, now former Chief Minister of MP, resigned before facing trust vote ordered by the Supreme Court on March 20.
Jyotiraditya Scindia, who newly joined BJP tweeted after Chouhan’s oath-taking ceremony, Scindia, “I am sure MP will reach new heights under your leadership.” Chouhan responded on the post, “We will work together for state’s progress and development.’’
Kamal Nath, congratulated Chouhan and said that the BJP government should immediately announce a relief package for vendors, small traders, workers and daily wagers who will suffer due to lockdown amid coronavirus outbreak.
Chouhan, after taking the oath called on for a session in the secretariat saying the coronavirus situation needs urgent attention and also requested the party members and workers not to burst firecrackers. “It’s not the time to celebrate but to tackle the coronavirus epidemic,” he said. “There will be a change in the way the state is governed,’’ Chouhan said, adding, “decisions will speak, works will speak.’’