Jaipur: The newly-elected Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) of the Congress will on Wednesday hold meetings in Raipur and Jaipur, in the wake of the party’s massive victory in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
In Rajasthan, Indian National Congress (INC) bagged a total of 99 seats while the grand old party got 67 seats in all in Naxal-affected state Chhattisgarh. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stood in the second place in both the states with the party bagging 73 and 15 seats in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, respectively.
When asked about Congress’ CM face in Rajasthan, Sachin Pilot talking to ANI said that the final call would be taken by the party president Rahul Gandhi after taking into account what the MLAs have to say in the meeting. “Whatever the MLAs have to say they will say in the meeting and final decision is left to the Congress president and other party leaders. We will take a call today,” Sachin Pilot said.
The aforementioned meeting in Rajasthan at 11 AM is expected to take suggestions of the newly-elected MLAs on the next CM. Notably, the party has not announced the Chief Ministerial candidate yet. Senior Congress leader K C Venugopal has been appointed an observer for Rajasthan. The top contenders for the CM’s post in the state are Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot.
Celebrations were witnessed outside Congress offices in various parts of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh owing to the favourable trends in the two states.
In Raipur, Chhattisgarh Congress president Bhupesh Baghel was seen celebrating with the party cadre outside the Congress office. Speaking to media here, Baghel said results exceeded expectations of the party and added that the high command will soon decide who the chief minister of Chhattisgarh will be.
“People of Chhattisgarh took the fight in their own hands. Our party fought for the people and we’re grateful to Congress President Rahul Gandhi. We got more seats than expected, high command will decide who will be the chief minister of Chhattisgarh. In the first Cabinet meeting, we will fulfil all the promises made by the Congress, including loan waivers and Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs 2500 to state farmers,” Baghel added.
Notably, Rajasthan proved true to the 20-year-old tradition of voting out the ruling party. The Congress, which is just short of the halfway mark of 100 of the 199 seats where election was held, saw its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal winning one seat. The BSP won six seats and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) won 2 seats. The two parties had fought against both Congress and BJP.
In the neighbouring Chhattisgarh, where also the BJP had been in power for three terms, the Congress took a sweet revenge by sweeping back to power with a three-fourths majority of 68 seats out of 90. The alliance of former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi-led Janta Congress Chhattisgarh and Mayawati-led BSP fared poorly winning six and was leading in one seat.
The counting of polled votes in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh took place on December 11, alongside assembly elections of Telangana, Mizoram and Madhya Pradesh. The counting of votes started at 8 AM and the results came out by evening.