Bhopal: Shivraj Singh Chouhan took the oath as 32nd chief minister of the Madhya Pradesh at Raj Bhavan here at 9 pm on Monday. Chouhan, thus became the only person to have been chief minister of the state for the record fourth time.
Earlier Chouhan was chief minister of Madhya Pradesh for 13 years straight from 2005 to 2018. His first term was from 25 November 2005 to 12 December 2008; then from December 12, 2008 to December 13, 2013; then again from 14 December 2013 to 17 December 2018 and now he again became the chief minister on 23 March 2020.
Chouhan’s oath taking ceremony lasted only six minutes. Soon after taking oath as the chief minister Chouhan said that this is not the time for celebrations, as the first priority is the fight against coronavirus,. the rest would come later.
Soon after Chouhan took the oath he was congratulated by Jyotiraditya Scindia, who recently joined the BJP and was instrumental in getting the Kamal Nath led Congress government to lose its majority, as soon after his quitting the Congress 22 former Congress MLAs, including six ministers also resigned from the State Assembly.
Apart from Chouhan, Shyama Charan Shukla and Arjun Singh of Congress had been chief minister of the state for three terms.
Earlier, a meeting of the BJP lesgislature party was held, in which Gopal Bhargava proposed the name of Shivraj Singh Chouhan as the leader of the BJP legislature party. Bhargava’s proposal was seconded by state BJP president VD Sharma. Prior to proposing the name of Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Bhargava tendered his resignation as the Leader of Opposition of the outgoing State Assembly.
The 230 seat State Assembly 24 vacant seats, which include 22 seats getting vacant on account resignations of former Congress MLAs, who belonged to Scindia camp and two seats being vacant on account of deaths of the then sitting MLAs. By-elections will be held within the next six months for these 24 seats.
Presently the BJP has 106 MLAs in the State Assembly. If the four independent MLAs extend support to the party, it will be have to win seven of the 24 seats that will be go for by-elections. However, if the independents stay away from BJP, it will have win at least nine of the 24 seats to have majority.