BHOPAL: After two weeks of electrifying political drama, triggered by the shock defection of Jyotiraditya Scindia which eventually led to the collapse of the Congress government, Kamal Nath handed in his resignation as chief minister on Friday, saying betrayal by “Maharaj” and “political greed” has defeated the hopes and belief of Madhya Pradesh.
Hitting out for the first time at Scindia, Nath said: “One Maharaja and his 22 accomplices, together with BJP, murdered democratic values. People will never forgive these greedy persons who betrayed the state.”
Referring to the twists and turns of the past fortnight, which saw 22 Congress MLAs revolt against the party, Nath’s parting message was: “We need to remember that after today, tomorrow comes. People will give a befitting reply.”
Around 1.15pm, with the clock ticking on Supreme Court-ordered floor test, the CM’s convoy rolled into Raj Bhavan, where Nath handed his resignation. “In 40 years of public life, I have always practised politics of cleanliness and given priority to democratic values. Whatever happened in the past two weeks in Madhya Pradesh is a new chapter in the devaluation of democratic tenets,” he said in his resignation letter, adding that he would support the next CM in development of the state.
As soon as Nath, 73, resigned, celebration broke out in the BJP camp. Leaders and workers distributed sweets and burst firecrackers. “If a government topples due to their own internal conflict, then we can’t do anything. You can see we were not in the game to form or topple a government,” said former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, believed to be in the lead for a fourth term as CM.
Scindia tweeted: “I have always believed that politics should be the medium of public service, but the state government had deviated from this path. Truth has won again. Satyamev Jayate.”
Nath indicated that the fight is far from over. When Congress MLAs went to meet him at CM House earlier in the day and requested him not to quit as PCC chief, he told them: “I will be with you. We will be back in six months.”
After handing his resignation to the governor, Nath tweeted: “Today, the hopes and beliefs of Madhya Pradesh have been defeated. The gluttonous and avaricious have won. No one can win by crushing the self-respect of Madhya Pradesh. I will continue to work for the state with all my determination.”
The Congress government that came to power after defeating the 15-year-old BJP government lasted 15 months. “BJP got 15 years. I got 15 months, two and a half months of which went in the model code of conduct,” Nath pointed out at a press meet before he headed for Raj Bhavan. He said that in this short period, his government fulfilled 400 promises made in the Vachan Patra.
“I have decided to give my resignation to the governor. And there is just one reason — the principles and values that I follow don’t permit the politics of horse-trading,” he said, adding: “People gave me five years to take the state on the right path, to give Madhya Pradesh a new identity. My efforts were to ensure that the state is no longer compared to smaller states of the country but the bigger ones.”
Nath said that in the past 15 months, every citizen has seen his government’s public welfare policies and work. “In fear and panic, BJP kept conspiring against our government. A month after our government was formed, BJP began saying every 15 days that this is a ‘short-term government’. They started plotting from the first day but we still worked,” Nath said.
He reeled off a list of welfare schemes — farm loan waiver, subsidized electricity to 1 crore families, hike in old-age pension — and his government’s war against mafia and adulteration. Nath added that he is confident he “will get people’s certificate”.