Veteran Congress leader Kamal Nath will take oath as Madhya Pradesh chief minister on December 17 (Monday). The 72-year-old was named as the next CM late on Thursday after hours of hectic parleys held by party president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi amid a debate over whether to pick 'old guard' Kamal Nath or 'young captain' Jyotiraditya Scindia. Kamal Nath met Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel on Friday to stake claim to form government and finalise the details of swearing-in ceremony.
After being named as the leader of the Congress legislature party in Bhopal, Kamal Nath, in an emotional message, thanked Jyotiraditya Scindia for supporting him. Pointed out that he had also worked with Jyotiraditya's father late Madhavrao Scindia, Kamal Nath said, "He has supported me and that matters a lot."
Recalls association with Gandhi family
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. He also recalled his long association with the Gandhi family, starting with the late Indira Gandhi.
Asked about the Congress's manifesto promise of farm loan waiver, he said, "It is a challenging time and we will all together fulfil the promises made in our 'Vachan Patra'."
Nath, who has earlier held multiple portfolios in the union cabinet, recalled his association with the former prime minister Indira Gandhi and said it was she who had introduced him to Chhindwara, which has since become his home turf electing him to Lok Sabha nine times.
Nath, who was appointed as president of the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee on April 26, is credited with having steered the party to a win in the just-concluded assembly polls, in which the party bagged 114 seats.
The Congress has secured support of a total of 121 MLAs, including SP (1) and BSP (2) legislators as also of four independents, to cross the majority mark of 116 seats in the 230-member assembly.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which ruled the state for 15 years, got 109 seats in the elections. The saffron party's Shivraj Singh Chouhan was the state's longest serving chief minister since taking charge in 2005. Nath said he was 'hungry' for the Congress's return to power in the state and asserted that the party has got "unconditional" support from the SP and the BSP.
WATCH: Kamal Nath to be Madhya Pradesh CM
(With inputs from PTI)