EXIT … Kamal Nath, who used Covid to hang on to power, resigns before court-ordered floor test

BHOPAL: After failing to hang on to the coat-tails of the Covid virus for his ministry’s survival for the past week, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath bowed out of office on Friday. The resignation comes after the Supreme Court ordered that he should face a floor test before evening. The Congress government in the state faced a crisis after a section of Congress MLAs sided with senior party Jyotiraditya Scindia to topple the Kamalnath ministry. 

The outgoing chief minister had tried to buy time by seeking suspension of the assembly session on the ground there existed a Covid threat to members, could however not have the last laugh.

Governor Lalji Tandon accepted Nath’s resignation, which comes as a huge blow to the Congress. This also because the Congress machinery is fed with funds reportedly from the “collections” of Kamal Nath as CM. Indications are that former BJP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is currently leader of the BJP legislative party, will stake claim to form an alternative ministry. 

Stated Kamal Nath at a press meet: “The people of this country can see the truth … Congress MLAs are being held hostage in Bengaluru. The truth will come out. People will not forgive them.” 

Kamal Nath, 73, formed the ministry in December 2018, though the Congress did not have a majority in the new state assembly formed after the assembly polls. He took the help of BSP, SP and some Independent MLAs to run the government. Now, some 22 Congress MLAs sided with Scindia, who quit the Congress and joined the BJP. BJP has given Scindia  a Rajya Sabha seat and possibly a minister post in the Modi government in due course. 

Kamal Nath is seen as among the most corrupt politicians in the country and his family has built a huge business empire in central India in recent years. A former Union minister under Dr Manmohan Singh, Kamal Nath often came under sharp focus for alleged corrupt practices, but he enjoyed the confidence of Sonia Gandhi, the then Congress president. Kamal Nath was a close associate of deceased Sanjay Gandhi, and they studied together at Doon School. Nath hails from a business family in Kanpur and had his education in Calcutta.-IHN-NN

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