After a young-versus-experienced debate for the past two days, state Congress chief Kamal Nath bagged the post of Madhya Pradesh chief minister, who will decide the key affairs in the state for the next five years. Taking to Twitter, the Congress confirmed the news and extended best wishes to the senior leader, adding that "an era of change is upon MP with him at the helm".
The suspense for the new chief ministerial face came to an end this evening, two days after the Grand Old party returned to power in Madhya Pradesh. Hours before the crucial meet to name the next Madhya Pradesh chief minister, the Gandhi scion tweeted a photograph with the party’s two faces seen to be serious contenders for the chief minister’s job - Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia. Along with the photograph was a quote from Russian author Leo Tolstoy’s “Bethink Yourselves”.
“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time,” Gandhi, 48, captioned the picture, signalling the end to the day-long wait for the name of next Madhya Pradesh CM.
The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.
- Leo Tolstoy pic.twitter.com/MiRq2IlrIg— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) December 13, 2018
However, there will not be a deputy chief minister in Madhya Pradesh.
In a see-saw battle with the BJP, the Congress in Tuesday's vote count emerged as the single largest party, winning 114 seats in the state Assembly polls 2018. However, the Congress touched the majority mark - 116, only with the support of Mayawati led BSP, which won 2 seats in the state. The BJP, on the other hand, managed to get only 109 seats.
Congress stalwart Jyotiraditya Scindia, who was another key candidate for the CM face, is reportedly not happy with the party leadership and has repeatedly wanted the job of the chief minister. Arguing that he has greater popular support, Scindia told reporters that he would be honoured to serve as chief minister
Kamal Nath, 72, has the backing of a large section of legislators, who are seeking for the best bet for crucial Lok Sabha elections next year.
Amid hectic lobbying for the top post, Gandhi met the central observer AK Antony for Madhya Pradesh early morning along with the state unit in-charge and later met the contenders.
Early on Wednesday, both Kamal Nath and Scindia left for Delhi and attended the one-on-one meets with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, his mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka Gandhi. The potential candidates were called in from Bhopal for last-minute discussions with the party president before a final call is taken on who will be the chief ministers.
Gandhi had also sought views of party workers through an internal messaging system with a pre-recorded message asking them to send their views directly to him through the application.
On Tuesday night, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had declared victory in Madhya Pradesh, saying it was time for a change and that the party would take forward the development work. The Gandhi scion also said that the selection of chief ministers in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh will be done smoothly.
The election to 230-member Assembly was held in Madhya Pradesh on November 28 with a record 75 per cent of the state's 5.03 crore voters exercised their franchise. In 2013 Assembly elections, the BJP had won 165 seats while the Congress got 58 followed by the BSP (4), and Independent candidates (3).