New Delhi: BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh for the fourth term at Raj Bhavan in Bhopal on Monday (March 23) night. The 61-year-old MLA from Budhni was administered the oath of office by Governor Lalji Tandon at 9 pm in a simple function. Chouhan was on the only one to take the oath and is likely to name his cabinet later this week.
Earlier in the evening, Shivraj Singh Chouhan was elected leader of the state BJP legislature party at its meeting in Bhopal and reached Raj Bhawan to stake claim to form the government and completed other formalities.
PM Narendra Modi congratulated Shivraj Singh Chouhan on taking oath as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and expressed his best wishes for taking the state to new heights of progress.
Among those present in the swearing-in ceremony were outgoing chief minister Kamal Nath, who lost power in just 15 months following a rebellion by 22 Congress MLAs.
The former chief minister and BJP leader Uma Bharti was also present in the function, which was not open for the media.
However, BJP MLAs, most of them wearing masks, reached the Raj Bhawan from BJP office in three buses amid the coronavirus scare. Some BJP leaders accompanied these MLAs, who were seen flashing victory.
Earlier in the evening, Madhya Pradesh BJP legislature party unanimously elected Chouhan as its leader. Senior BJP MLA and ex-leader of opposition Gopal Bhargava proposed the name of Chouhan as legislature party leader, which was endorsed by Narottam Mishra, Vijay Shah, Meena Singh, Paras Jain, and other MLAs.
After this process, the party's central observer, general secretary Arun Singh, who was participating through video conferencing from Delhi, announced Chouhan's name as the leader of the BJP legislative party.
Soon after taking oath as 32nd Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan on late Monday night got down to business and held a meeting with officials to review steps taken to contain the spread of coronavirus, his first major challenge.
Chouhan straightaway went to Mantralaya (state secretariat) and after offering prayers in the complex, took charge of his office and presided over the meeting. Notably, the state has so far reported seven positive coronavirus cases. At the meeting with top officials, he reviewed the state's preparedness to fight COVID19.
Popularly known among his followers as 'Mamaji', Chouhan was sworn in chief minister thrice earlier - in 2005, after Uma Bharti stepped down over a riots case, and for later two full terms in 2008 and 2013.
After failing to gain a majority in November 2018 Assembly election, which was a closely fought affair between the BJP and the Congress, Chouhan had to step down as CM on December 12, 2019. The BJP (109 seats) lost the election despite getting more vote share than the Congress, which emerged as the single largest party with 114 seats.
In the 230-member house, the BJP currently has 107 legislators. The Congress's strength got reduced to 92 following the resignations of 22 of its MLAs. Currently, the BJP has the majority with 107 MLAs and it is likely to get the support of Independents as well as BSP and SP MLAs.
Born on March 5, 1959, to a farming family of Prem Singh Chouhan and Sundar Bai at village Jait in Sehore district, Chouhan's long journey in public life began with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) when he was just 13 years.
During his decades-long political career, Shivraj Singh served in different party posts and also as an MLA, MP and eventually became chief minister.