Veteran politician Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday evening took oath as Madhya Pradesh's chief minister for a record fourth time, thus officially bringing back the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power after a hiatus of 15 months. The swearing-in of Chouhan culminates a sequence of political events triggered earlier this month by the resignation of former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, who switched to
the BJP after allegedly being denied a Rajya Sabha nomination from his home state.
Along with Scindia, twenty-two of his loyalists, all MLAs, pulled out of the Kamal Nath-led government, thus reducing it to a minority in the assembly. All 22 MLAs made a dash for Bengaluru, where they were holed up in a resort as they reportedly feared retaliation from the Congress state government.
The 22 rebel Congress MLAs, whose resignations from the Madhya Pradesh Assembly had led to the fall of the Kamal Nath government, joined the BJP on Saturday, national general secretary of the party Kailash Vijayvargiya said.
These leaders, along with Jyotiraditya Scindia, met BJP president J P Nadda, who welcomed their decision to join the saffron party.
The BJP is likely to field them in the bypolls necessitated by their resignations.
These former MLAs met Nadda on Saturday at his residence. Vijayvargiya was also present there.
The Assembly speaker had accepted the resignations of 16 of these rebel Congress MLAs on Thursday, a day before Chief Minister Kamal Nath chose to resign after it became clear that his government had lost the majority.
(with PTI inputs)