Congress ready to form government in Rajasthan

Congress ready to form government in Rajasthan

Congress leaders K C Venugopal, Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot after the declaration of Rajasthan Assembly election result, in Jaipur on Tuesday. PTI

The Congress in Rajasthan has reclaimed the state by winning 101 seats and beating the incumbent BJP.

Voting took place in 199 of the state's 200 Assembly constituencies — the elections were postponed in one seat as a candidate had died.

Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot said that the party is confident of forming a government.

He also said Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and the party MLAs will decide on who should be next chief minister.

He said the victory in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh will set a trend that will spread across the rest of India.

As per the trends, Congress was leading in 99 seats and BJP was trailing with 71 seats, while Independent candidates and others swept around 28 seats.

However, the results saw a major dip in the number of seats from what was predicted by most exit polls.

According to sources, Congress leaders are in talks with the Independent candidates to form the government.

This was confirmed by Pilot: "I am in touch with all parties that believe in the Congress. The mandate is against the BJP and is a huge blow to the arrogant politics of the BJP."

In the 2013 polls, BJP had won 163 seats while Congress won just 22. 

According to experts, a lower margin could open the Congress up to infighting. Slogans in support of Sachin Pilot and veteran Ashok Gehlot were already raised outside their houses.

The name of the chief minister will be decided after the meeting of the legislative party scheduled for Wednesday.

The party's central observer K C Venugopal has already started meetings with senior leaders, including Pilot, Gehlot and state incharge Avinash Pande.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has tendered her resignation to Governor Kalyan Singh.

Later she tweeted: "While I congratulate INC, I am very proud of the work my Govt. has done in the last 5 yrs. Hope the incoming Govt. will continue our good work and consolidate the multiple interventions we made to benefit the people of #Rajasthan — a state I will be personally committed to".

Rebels a spoilsport?

According to political experts, the BJP has done much better than expected at grassroot management and consider Congress's poor ticket distribution one of reasons for getting less seats than predicted in the exit polls.

"There are so many seats which the Congress won by a slender margin. In Mewar, the Congress has not done well at all, BJP has done much better than expected. BJP's booth management had helped them a lot," senior journalist Sandipan Sharma, told DH.

Around nine Congress rebels have emerged winners, which was a huge loss to the party.

"The infighting in the Congress party and a lack of consensus were the two reasons the party has got less numbers", Avinash Kalla, political expert told DH.

The nine Congress rebels who won as Independent candidates are Ramila Khadiya (Kushalgarh), Raj Kumar Gaur (Ganganagar), Laxman Meena (Bassi), Babulal Nagar (Dudu), Alok Beniwal (Shahpura), Khushveer Singh (Marwar Junction), Ramkesh (Gangapur), Mahadeo Singh (Khandela) and Sanhyam Lodha (Sirohi).