Kamal Nath takes oath as Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh

Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath was sworn in as the 18th Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh on December 17, 2018.  The swearing-in ceremony took place at the Lal Parade Ground in Bhopal, the capital city of Madhya Pradesh.

Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel administered the oath of office to Nath in the presence of several senior Congress leaders including Digvijaya Singh and Mallikarjun Kharge, party president Rahul Gandhi, leaders from other parties such as National Conference President Farooq Abdullah, Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, outgoing CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan and recently sworn in Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and Deputy CM Sachin Pilot.

Key Highlights

The Congress named veteran leader Kamal Nath as Madhya Pradesh’s next Chief Minister after hours of hectic discussions held by party chief Rahul Gandhi with other senior leaders amid a debate on the old versus the new guard.

The other potential Chief Ministerial candidate was from the younger lot, Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Scindia had, in fact, proposed Nath’s name as the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader and it was approved “unanimously” by the MLAs.

Nath said that as the new chief minister he would ensure all promises made by the Congress party are fulfilled and that Madhya Pradesh’s future was secure.

Asserting that the state unit of the party was united and there were no “camps”, Nath thanked Scindia and said he has no problems with him.

Nath also recalled his long association with the Gandhi family, starting with the late Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi.

About Kamal Nath

Kamal Nath is one of the longest-serving and senior-most members of the Lok Sabha, the lower house of India's bicameral Parliament.

He has been elected from the Chhindwara Lok Sabha constituency of Madhya Pradesh nine times.

Nath had close ties with the Nehru–Gandhi family, being young friends and schoolmates with Sanjay Gandhi at the Doon School, an independent boarding school located in Dehradun.

Indira Gandhi had described Nath as her "third son" who helped her take on the Morarji Desai-led regime in 1979.

Nath has been often accused of leading mobs during the anti-Sikh riots in 1984 after the death of Indira Gandhi, but he has denied the accusations.

He was appointed the Pro Tem Speaker of the 16th Lok Sabha.

He was elected as the president of the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee in May 2018, leading the party in the November-December 2018 assembly election.

Kamal Nath’s Political Timeline

1980: Kamal Nath was first elected to the 7th Lok Sabha after he helped Indira Gandhi defeat Morarji Desai-led Janta Party alliance.

1985, 1989 & 1991: He was re-elected to the 8th Lok Sabha, 9th and the 10th Lok Sabha respectively.

June 1991: He was inducted into the Union Council of Ministers as the Minister of State c of Environment and Forests.

1995 to 1996:  He served as the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge)  of Textiles.

1998, 1999: Nath was elected to the 12th and 13th Lok Sabha.

2001 to 2004: He served as the General Secretary of the Indian National Congress (INC).

2004: He was re-elected to the 14th Lok Sabha and served as Union Cabinet Minister of Commerce and Industry till 2009.

2009: He was re-elected to the 15th Lok Sabha and he re-entered the Union Cabinet as the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways.

2011: As a result of a cabinet reshuffle, Nath replaced Jaipal Reddy to take on the role of Minister of Urban Development.

2012: Nath was confirmed to the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs in addition to his current role as Minister of Urban Development.

December 2012: Nath replaced Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh as an ex officio member of the Planning Commission.

June 2014: Kamal Nath, being the only member to have taken the official oath as a member of the newly-elected 16th Lok Sabha, was made the Pro Tem Speaker.

December 2018: Kamal Nath was elected as the 18th Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.

Background

In the results declared on December 11, after a long neck-to-neck battle, the Congress won 114 seats in the 231-member Madhya Pradesh legislative assembly. Though the party fell short of the required majority, it secured support of a total of 121 MLAs, including one of SP, two of BSP and four independents, to cross the majority mark of 116 seats.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which ruled the state of Madhya Pradesh for 15 years, got 109 seats in the 2018 legislative assembly elections.

The party’s Chief Minister Candidate, Shivraj Singh Chouhan has been the state’s longest-serving chief minister since taking charge in 2005.

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