Kamal Nath became the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh in December 2018 after the Congress defeated the Bharatiya Janata Party by a narrow margin in the state Assembly. Nath has been a lifelong Congressman and a key aide of Sonia Gandhi’s.
Nath was a friend from school to Sanjay Gandhi, former prime minister Indira Gandhi's son who died in a plane crash. Nath was first elected to the 7th Lok Sabha in 1980. He went on being elected to the Lower House in 1985, 1989, 1991, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014 from the Chhindwara constituency of Madhya Pradesh.
He has held several Cabinet portfolios, such as Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment and Forests, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Textiles from 1995 to 1996, Minister of Commerce and Industry from 2004 to 2009. In the second term of the United Progressive Alliance government he was given the charge of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs at different times.
From 4 June to 5 June 2014, Kamal Nath was the only member to have taken the official oath as a member of the newly elected 16th Lok Sabha, and was made the Pro-tem Speaker.
In 2011, he was reported to be the richest Cabinet minister in India, possessing assets worth Rs 273 crore.
Kamal Nath was made the head of the Madhya Pradesh Congress in 2018 ahead of Jyotiraditya Scindia and former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh. It cemented his position as one of the most trusted lieutenants of Congress President Rahul Gandhi. The Madhya Pradesh Congress had been broken into several competing factions in the 15 years of BJP rule under Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Nath came in at a juncture when it was being doubted if the Congress could capitalise on three-term anti-incumbency faced by the BJP. And he delivered. If the grand old party is to perform well in the northern belt of the country in the coming Lok Sabha elections 2019, the veteran leader has to play a pivotal role at the grassroots.