Congress to form govt in Madhya Pradesh

The Bahujan Samaj Party won two seats and the Samajwadi Party one seat. Four seats went to independents.

December 12, 2018 09:06 am | Updated December 03, 2021 10:05 am IST

Congress workers celebrating their party’s good show in the Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh elections, in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

Congress workers celebrating their party’s good show in the Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh elections, in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

The Congress Legislature Party in Madhya Pradesh resolved on Wednesday evening that Congress president Rahul Gandhi would take a call on who would be the state's Chief Minister.

After the CLP meeting, which lasted for about one hour, Congress leader AK Antony discussed the ensuing Lok Sabha elections with party MLAs, said a state Congress leader.

Once Mr. Gandhi takes a call on the Chief Ministerial candidate, party leaders would meet governor Anandiben Patel for goverment formation in the state, where the Congress has dislodged the BJP after 15 years.

Earlier in the day, MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan conceded defeat, accepting that the BJP had not been able to win a majority.

Resigning from his post, he said the party would not stake claim to form the government, and congratulated Congress state president Kamal Nath for the Congress' performance.

With the BSP and SP pledging support to the Congress in MP, the developments paved the way for the formation of a Congress government in the state.

“I have resigned. The responsibility for the loss is fully mine. I got people's love and also votes. I congratulate Kamal Nath ji. Now I am free,” Mr. Chouhan told the media.

Continue my govt.'s welfare schemes: Chouhan

Later in the day, he told the media that he had worked hard on welfare schemes and would want the next government to continue these, saying he would support them constructively and also lead a questioning opposition if they faltered. He also sought apologies from any section of the population he may have hurt, adding he would never do so consciously.

Governor Anandiben Patel asked state Congress president Mr. Kamal Nath – who was slated to visit her at noon – to meet her once the legislature party had decided its leader.

While Mr. Kamal Nath is widely being seen as the front-runner for the post, a large section of party workers have also looked upon Jyotiraditya Scindia as a potential Chief Minister.

However, seeking to scotch speculation of rifts in the rank and file of the Congress in MP, Mr. Scindia told reporters in the morning that he would humbly accept whatever decision party president Rahul Gandhi would take.

“The rule of the people has come in MP. We have to fulfil people's aspirations,” he told reporters.

Asked about who would be Chief Minister, he said the party would take a call. “I will accept the decision of the party president,” he said.

Mr. Scindia added, “We have the majority, as we have support from independents, the BSP and SP.”

He also took a swipe at the BJP: “The BJP has not been able to cross 200 seats in all five states taken together. They had claimed they would cross 200 in MP alone. I would request the BJP to shed their arrogance and come down to the ground.”

Mr. Kamal Nath thanked the people of the state and told reporters that every section of society had supported the Congress.

Final tally

Earflier, the  Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday released the final tally of seats for the  Madhya Pradesh  Assembly elections after a marathon counting session that went on all night.

The Congress won 114 seats and the BJP coming a close second with 109, said Madhya Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer V.L. Kantha Rao. The Bahujan Samaj Party won two seats and the Samajwadi Party one. Four seats went to independents.

The Congress is, however, two short of the simple majority mark (116 seats), in the 230-member Assembly. The BJP also edged past the Congress in the vote share by a slender margin. It got 41% of the total votes polled, while the Congress secured 40.9%.

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