Assembly elections result HIGHLIGHTS | Madhya Pradesh Congress passes resolution, Rahul Gandhi to take final on next CM
A resurgent Congress made significant gains in the Assembly elections, dealing a body blow to the BJP in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan while emerging as the single largest party in Madhya Pradesh
JAIPUR/BHOPAL/RAIPUR: The Congress was poised on Wednesday to form governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh, signalling a newfound energy in the party ranks and energizing opposition efforts to stop the BJP juggernaut before general elections next year.
Belying predictions of exit polls, the Congress won convincingly in Chattisgarh, less so in Rajasthan, and scraped through with a wafer-thin lead in Madhya Pradesh, final results showed after the vote count on Tuesday.
All eyes now were on party president Rahul Gandhi's choice of chief ministers of the three states, which he will decide after the victorious MLAs finish their meetings in the three states.
In a sign of increasing opposition unity, Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati extended support to the Congress in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, while the Samajawadi Party indicated that the party could join a grand alliance of opposition parties to take on the BJP in the 2019 polls.
In Rajasthan, the contenders for the chief minister's post are Pradesh Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot, both of whom won huge victories in their constituencies.
The Congress emerged as the single-largest party in Rajasthan, winning 99 seats. Its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) won one seat for a total of 100 seats -- the required number to form government. The BJP got 73 seats, and the Bahujan Samaj Party won 6 seats. The CPI(M) got two seats, Independents won 13 and other parties got 6, according to the state Election Commission.
In Chattisgarh, the contenders for the CM post are Lok Sabha member Tamradhwaj Sahu, who won the Durg Rural seat, state party chief Bhupesh Baghel and senior leader T S Singhdeo.
The Congress victory in Chhattisgarh ended the 15-year rule of the Raman Singh-led Bharatiya Janata Party government.
It won 68 seats in the 90-member Assembly, far more than the 46 required to form the government, while the BJP got only 15 seats.
The chief minister is likely to be announced after the meeting.
The Congress got 43 per cent of the total votes polled in the state, while the BJP got 33 per cent.
After a see-saw battle during vote count on Tuesday, Congress emerged as the single largest party in Madhya Pradesh with 114 seats, two short of a simple majority.
The BJP, which had ruled the state for 15 years, got 109 seats.