MP – What Next: Shivraj may become CM; by-elections for 25 Assembly seats

Bhopal: Kamal Nath stepped down as Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh on Friday after heading a Congress gfovernment for a period of a year and three months and before the expiry of the tile limit set by the Supreme Court for a trust vote by Friday evening. The field is clear now for the BJP to stake a claim to form the government in the state.

Following the resignation of the Kamal Nath government the Governor may invite the BJP as the largest party to form the government in the state. On the other hand the BJP may stake claim to form the government; without waiting to be invited by the Governor for the same, by parading the MLAs before the Governor and submitting a letter of their support.

In any case, if the BJP does form the government in the state it would be to prove its majority in the floor of the house.

In case the BJP forms the government in the state, former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is most likely to be the chief minister. Earlier, Chouhan was chief minister of the state from 2008 to 2013.

If he becomes the chief minister again, this will be the fourth time and it will be for the first time in the history of the state when a person would become chief minister of the state for the fourth time. Earlier, Arjun Singh and Shyama Charan Shukla were chief minister of the state for three times.

The Madhya Pradesh state Assembly has a total of 230 seats. Of these two seats are vacant following deaths of two MLAs. Meanwhile, following switching over of former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia to BJP, 22 Scindia supporters had rebeled against the Congress and had submitted their resignations.

The then speaker of the house NP Prajapati had accepted resignations of six ministers of the then Congress state government, but was delaying accepting the same of the remaining MLAs. On Friday Prajapati accepted the resignations of the remaining rebel Congress MLAs and also that of a BJP MLA Sharad Kol. Thus the State Assembly has 25 vacant seats, for which by-elections will have to be held within the next six months.

Meanwhile, the BJP has 106 MLAs in the State Assembly. The Assembly also has four independents. In order to secure majority the BJP will have to win at least half a dozen seats in case the independents extend their support to the BJP, otherwise the party will have to win ten of the 25 seats that would go for by-election.

On the other hand, if the Congress manages to get support of the independent MLAs, it will have to win 17 seats in by-elections. In case the independents do not support the Congress, it will have to win 21 seats. Besides, if the Congress does not enjoy the support of independents along with that of BSP and SP MLAs in the State Assembly, it will have to win all the seats going for by-elections.

BJP was the runner up on 20 seats which the rebel Congress MLAs had won. Out of these the margin of victory was less then 10 per cent on 11 seats. These 22 rebel Congress MLAs had come from 14 districts of the state. Of the 22 rebel Congress MLAs, 15 had represented Gwalior-Chambal region of the state, which is a stronghold of Jyotiraditya Scindia.