Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Shivraj Singh Chouhan|IANS (File photo)

Shivraj Singh Chouhan Chouhan sworn in as Madhya Pradesh CM


Bhopal, March 23, 2020

BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan was sworn in as the 32nd Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh on Monday. Governor Lalji Tandon administered the oaths of office and secrecy to him at an austere ceremony.

Shortly after taking the oaths, Chouhan held consultations with bureaucrats over the ways to deal with the novel coronavirus pandemic.

He said that, as of now, the priority is to wage a united battle against COVID-19. The lockdown caused by the deadly outbreak of the virus in many cities had forced his party to delay the meeting.

In a change of plans, for the election of the legislature party leader and the swearing-in of the Chief Minister, the Raj Bhawan was readied at short notice. During the swearing-in, Chouhan requested his supporters not to offer him bouquets or shake hands with him in view of the pandemic.

Chouhan was re-elected the BJP Legislature Party chief in a meeting at the party's state headquarters on Monday. This facilitated his reappointment as Chief Minister for a record fourth time.

He has also been the longest-serving Chief Minister of the state so far. Chouhan, who was first elected as an MLA in 1990, went on to be a member of the Lok Sabha in 1996 and returned to the state in 2005.

Gopal Bhargava, who was the leader of the legislature party till a couple of hours ago, made way for Chouhan. Bhargava said the observers for the legislature party meeting Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and Arun Singh, through video conferencing, conducted the election of the leader. Chouhan who has been the national vice-president of party and MLA, has been unanimously asked to lead the state again, said Bhargava.

He was first made the Chief Minister in 2005 after the short spells of Uma Bharti and Babulal Gaur.

In his acceptance speech, Chouhan said he will take every party member along. He said he would start working at the state secretariat right from Monday night. Chouhan took oath of the office alone. The cabinet will be formed later.

The BJP has its task cut out with the Rajya Sabha and civic elections and 25 assembly bye-elections due in the next few months.