Bhopal/New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday night named veteran leader Kamal Nath as Madhya Pradesh's next chief minister, after hours of hectic parleys held by the party chief Rahul Gandhi with senior party leaders.

Kamal Nath, 72, reached Bhopal late in night to be greeted with chants of 'Jai Jai Kamal Nath' by his supporters at the airport and headed straight for the party office for a meeting of the newly-elected MLAs to select their leader.

Nath, who served as union minister in the previous Congress-led governments, has been a top contender for the chief minister post ever since his party won against the ruling BJP, which was in power in this central Indian state for 15 years.

Another senior party leader and former union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia was also in the race.

"Our best wishes to Shri @OfficeOfKNath for being elected CM of Madhya Pradesh. An era of change is upon MP with him at the helm," the Congress tweeted.

PTI