BHOPAL, March 20 - Kamal Nath on Friday quit as the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, hours before the Supreme Court-ordered floor test deadline, as his government stared at a certain defeat in the Assembly after the Speaker accepted the resignation of all 22 rebel MLAs.
Governor Lalji Tandon accepted his resignation, which Nath had submitted around 1 pm on Friday, an official of the Raj Bhawan said. The Governor also asked Nath, 72, to continue as the caretaker Chief Minister till the new CM takes charge.
Nath�s resignation brought an end to the 18-day-long political drama which also played out in Haryana, Bengaluru and the National Capital.
�In my 40-year-long public life, I have always done politics of purity and valued democratic norms and given priority to it. But what transpired in the last two weeks is a new chapter of devaluation of democratic values,� Nath said in his resignation letter.
His resignation brought good tidings for the BJP, which has the magic number of 104 in the 230-member Assembly, whose effective strength now is 206 after the resignation of 22 MLAs and death of two more.
After former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the Congress, 22 MLAs, most of them loyal to him, had resigned from the Assembly. After their resignations were accepted, it brought down the tally of the Congress to 92.
A BJP leader said his party is now on the threshold of forming the government in the State.
Before stepping down as the Chief Minister, Nath addressed a press conference, where he said, �Today, I have decided to tender my resignation to the Governor to preserve the country�s democratic values.
�Today will be followed by tomorrow,� he said, indicating that he hopes to bounce back. �I never indulged in politics of auction and horse- trading. I have done clean politics based on values, and the people stand witness to it,� he said.
�I took over the office of CM on December 17, 2018. I believe in politics of development. In my career I have pursued it. I was given an opportunity for a period of five years to give a new identity to the State.
Nath said nobody could point a finger at him during his tenure as the Chief Minister. �But during my 15-month rule, the BJP didn�t like people-centric works of my government. Right from the day I took over as the Chief Minister, the BJP tried to destabilise my government,� he said.
Nath alleged that the 22 Congress MLAs were held captive in Bengaluru by the BJP, which he claimed was seen by the entire country.
�One ambitious and power hungry Maharaja, rejected by the public, and his 22 greedy MLAs and the BJP conspired to kill democratic values,� Nath said, attacking Scindia, who lost the last Lok Sabha polls from Guna in Madhya Pradesh.
�People of the State won�t forgive these greedy rebels (MLAs) who have betrayed them. BJP killed the democratic values by conspiring,� he said. � PTI