Congress picks Kamal Nath as the new chief minister of Madhya Pradesh
Kamal Nath faced a tough challenge from Jyotiraditya Scindia, a former junior minister and a MP from Guna.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi finalised Nath's name after repeated meetings at his residence in Delhi with him and the other front runner Jyotiraditya Scindia. Discussions were also held with former Congress president Sonia Gandhi and with party's observer AK Antony, who had taken inputs from the newly elected members.
Nath, a former union minister known for his organisational skills, faced a tough challenge from the 47-year old Scindia who is a former junior minister and a member of parliament from Guna.
News of his probable selection also drew angry responses from the Akali Dal which alleged he had a role in the 1985 anti-Sikh riots.
Nath is a nine-time Lok Sabha MP for Chhindwara who has a handled several portfolios like environment, road transport, urban development and parliamentary affairs during different stints as union minister since 1991.
After a see-saw battle on Tuesday, Congress emerged the single largest party in Madhya Pradesh with 114 seats, two short of a simple majority. The BJP, which had ruled the state for 15 years, got 109 seats.
Mayawati and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav announced their parties' support to the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, where BSP has got two and SP one seat. Congress also claimed support of the four independents, all party rebels, who have emerged victorious.