Rajasthan, MP, Chhattisgarh chief minister candidates LIVE Updates: Kamal Nath declared Madhya Pradesh CM; decision on Rajasthan Friday morning

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Rajasthan, MP, Chhattisgarh chief minister candidates LIVE Updates: Kamal Nath declared Madhya Pradesh CM; decision on Rajasthan Friday morning
  • 23:57 (IST)

    Rajasthan: Decision on CM will be announced on Friday, says KC Venugopal

    Election observer for Rjasthan, KC Venugopal said on Friday that Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has spoken will all the contenders and that a decision on the next chief minister of Rajasthan will be announced on Friday. 

  • 23:55 (IST)

    Thank you Madhya Pradesh, says Kamal Nath

    Kamal Nath addressed party workers and the media, saying he is grateful to the voters of the state for showing confidence in his party.

    "I am thankful to every voter in Madhya Pradesh. I am confident that the future of Madhya Pradesh will be a bright one. Madhya Pradesh has confidence in us, we will fulfill our promises. I will meet the Governor at 10.30 am tomorrow," said Nath.

  • 23:42 (IST)

    Kamal Nath and ex-CM Digvijaya Singh were behind Congress' soft Hindutva approach in MP

    It was Kamal Nath and former chief minister Digvijaya Singh who gambled with the strategy of going all out to woo Hindu voters. Singh, it is understood, supported the Congress’ election campaign and smoothed over differences among leaders while Nath decided that the party would go all-out on temples visits and draw a manifesto replete with symbols — such as cow shelters and market cow urine-based products — that would resonate with Hindu voters. The move, along with pushing hard on the BJP that faced anti-incumbency in the Malwa (North) region after the Mandsaur protests, helped the party narrow the vote-share gap.

  • 23:40 (IST)

    At 72, Kamal Nath will hold Office of Chief Minister for first time

    Seventy-two-year-old Kamal Nath will take the office of chief minister for the first time in his career. Nath is a nine-time MP from Madhya Pradesh's Chhindwara constituency.

    A former urban development minister, Nath is credited with leading the party’s election campaign in Madhya Pradesh. He arranged funds for the campaign as the Congress took on the ruling BJP, which was eyeing a fourth successive term under Shivraj Singh Chauhan.

    Nath is also credited with formulating the booth-level strategy for the Congress that he fine-tuned over the last three years.

  • 23:32 (IST)

    MP CM post a reward for Kamal Nath

    For Kamal Nath, appointment as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister is a reward for his sharp political maneuvering skills which are credited with the Congress victory in a state where BJP was ruling for three consecutive terms

  • 23:21 (IST)

    Congress confirms appointment on Twitter:

  • 23:04 (IST)

    Kamal Nath new MP CM
     
     

    Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) chief Kamal Nath has been announced as the chief minister of the newly-elected Congress government in the state, ANI reported. The MPCC announced that there will be no deputy chief minister.

  • 22:53 (IST)

    Kamal Nath arrives at Congress party office in Bhopal

    The Senior Congress leader arrived at the party's Bhopal office for a meeting of MLAs. Speaking to ANI earlier, Nath said the name of the Madhya Pradesh chief minister would be announced after the meet.

  • 22:35 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi defers decision naming CMs, says report


    Congress president Rahul Gandhi has deferred the decision on naming the chief ministers of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh for Friday as he wants to hold further discussions with party leaders, party sources told PTI.

  • 22:33 (IST)

    SAD attacks Congress 

    "The Congress promotes and rewards the perpetrators of genocide against the Sikhs by proposing the name of Kamal Nath as chief minister," Akali Dal leader Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal said in a statement in Chandigarh.

     
     

  • 22:23 (IST)

    Rahul meets party leaders over Chhattisgarh CM

    After holding consultations on Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday met party leaders from Chhattisgarh to decide on the chief minister in the state. The Congress central observer for Chhattisgarh, Mallikarjuna Kharge, and state in-charge PL Punia met Rahul at his residence soon after he finished discussing Madhya Pradesh.

  • 22:21 (IST)

    Bhupesh Baghel, Charan Das Mahant also heading to New Delhi


    Amid the race for the Chhattisgarh chief minister's post, Pradesh Congress Committee Chief Bhupesh Baghel and Charan Das Mahant are also going to Delhi tomorrow.  

  • 22:18 (IST)

    Nath, Scindia arrive in Bhopal

    Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia have arrived in Bhopal for a meeting of party MLAs, ANI reported.

  • 22:00 (IST)

    Decision on Rajasthan CM likely late tonight: Sources

    The decision on naming the Rajasthan chief minister is likely to be announced late Thursday night, News18 quoted sources as saying.  

  • 21:48 (IST)

    Confusing signals emanating from Chhattisgarh 

    Confusing signals are emerging from Chhattisgarh for the post of chief minister. The Congress has not come up with a clear choice yet, even after the referendum party chief Rahul Gandhi had sought on Wednesday through an app called 'Shakti'. A unique experiment of sorts, more than three lakh party workers, including elected Congress candidates, received a pre-recorded call from Rahul seeking their choice for a chief ministerial candidate for Chhattisgarh. 

    Read the entire Firstpost piece here

  • 21:44 (IST)

    TS Singh Deo summoned to New Delhi

    Chhattisgarh CM candidate TS Singh Deo has been summoned to New Delhi, News18 reported.

  • 21:39 (IST)

    Rahul, Sonia unable to placate Sachin Pilot: Sources


    Rahul and Sonia Gandhi have not been able to placate Sachin Pilot, News18 quoted sources as saying. Pilot reportedly told the Congress high command that not making him Rajasthan chief minister would 'send the wrong message'.  

  • 21:10 (IST)

    Madhya Pradesh Congress tweets:

  • 20:50 (IST)

    'Not a race, here to serve people of MP'


    Jyotiraditya Scindia posted this message on Twitter: "It is not a race, it is not about kursi, we are here to serve the people of Madhya Pradesh. I am leaving for Bhopal and you will get to know the decision today."

  • 20:43 (IST)

    Kamal Nath to be MP CM, report news channels

    Kamal Nath is set to be the next chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, NDTV, ABP and India Today quoted sources as saying. Nath will reportedly be sworn in on 15 December, sources said. Firstpost has not been able to independently verify these reports.

    ,

  • 20:12 (IST)

    'Will announce CM name after MLAs meet'
     
     
    Speaking to ANI after leaving Congress president Rahul Gandhi's residence, Kamal Nath said he was leaving for Bhopal where an MLAs meeting would be held. "We will announce the CM name after that," the senior grand old party leader said.

  • 20:08 (IST)

    Amid high drama, Rahul takes to Twitter

    Amid high drama, Congress president Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to quote Leo Tolstoy and posted a picture of himself, Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia

  • 19:22 (IST)

    Congress tells Gehlot to stay put

    Former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot has been told to stay put in Delhi by Congress high command, according to several media reports. Gehlot has returned to his Delhi residence from the airport.

  • 19:02 (IST)

    'Appeal for calm'


    Ashok Gehlot, speaking to ANI appealed to Congress workers to keep calm. "They have worked very hard, whatever decisions will be taken will be binding on all. Rahul ji is talking to and consulting all leaders," the former Rajasthan chief minister said. 

  • 18:57 (IST)

    'Decision soon, nothing to worry about'
     
    Rajasthan Congress leader Ashok Gehlot told ANI the decision on naming the chief minister of Rajasthan would be taken soon and there is nothing to worry about. "Te decision has to be taken on CMs of three states so naturally, it takes time. The party president will take a call," the Rajasthan chief ministerial candidate said. 

  • 18:37 (IST)

    The longer this takes, the more difficult it will get, tweets Omar Abdullah

    National Conference leader Omar Abdullah urged the Congress leadership to announce the next chief ministers for Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh as soon as possible. Abdullah tweeted that delay in the announcement will only make things more difficult for the party.

  • 18:08 (IST)

    'Have full confidence in party leadership,' tweets Sachin Pilot, asks supporters to remain calm

    After reports of Sachin Pilot's supporters blocking road in Karauli, the Rajasthan CM probable tweeted urging his supporters to maintain peace. In his tweet, Pilot also said that he has full confidence in the party leadership, and that he will take whatever decision is taken by Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi.

  • 17:39 (IST)

    Sachin Pilot's supporters block road

    Rajasthan CM probable Sachin Pilot's supporters have blocked a road in Karauli, ANI reported.

  • 17:31 (IST)

    Poster congratulates Kamal Nath for being chosen as CM

    A poster congratulating Kamal Nath for being named CM has been put up outside the Congress' Bhopal office, ANI reported.

  • 16:55 (IST)

    Congress workers clash outside Chhattisgarh CM probable's home

    Congress workers clashed outside the home of Chhattisgarh chief minister contender Bhupesh Baghel, News18 reported.

  • 16:41 (IST)

    Jyotiraditya Scindia's supporters gather

     
    Jyotiraditya Scindia's supporters have congregated outside the Congress party office in Bhopal, ANI reported.

  • 16:08 (IST)

    In Rajasthan, security tightened ahead of announcement of next CM's name

    Security was tightened here Thursday ahead of the announcement of the name of the next Rajasthan chief minister as the supporters of both Pradesh Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot had started gathering near their residences since morning. A large number of supporters are present at the civil lines residence of Gehlot, while Pilot's supporters are also present near his house in Jalupura. 
     
     
    "Security arrangements have been tightened looking at the large number of supports at both the places. Additional policemen have been deployed to keep things under control," Additional Commission of Jaipur Police Nitindeep Bluggan told PTI.

  • 15:59 (IST)

    Sonia Gandhi reaches Rahul's residence; suspense over CM faces continues 

    UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has arrived at Rahul Gandhi's residence as Madhya Pradesh CM post front-runner Jyotiraditya Scindia was already present at his residence. Earlier in the day, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was also seen at Rahul's residence.  

  • 15:48 (IST)

    Jyotiraditya Scindia reaches Rahul Gandhi's residence; delay in CM face announcement keeps the suspense going

    Congress leader and Guna MP Jyotiraditya Scindia has arrived at the residence of Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Meanwhile, the suspense over Madhya Pradesh chief minister continues. Earlier, media reports unanimously quoted sources to say Kamal Nath is going to become the chief minister and the announcement was likely at 4 pm. However, the time was revised thrice later: the presser was shifted to 4.30, then 5.30, and now finally reports say that the announcement will come after 6 and will be made in Bhopal. 

  • 15:38 (IST)

    Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh observers to meet Rahul Gandhi at 5 pm

    The decision on Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan chief ministers have been made, and the official confirmation will come out in due time. Meanwhile, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has decided to take the next complex problem head on. As the Congress' Chhattisgarh observers Mallikarjun Kharge and PL Punia will meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi at 5 pm today, India Today reported. He will subsequently meet the front-runners for CM post from Chhattisgarh. 

    The news channel also said that Tamradhwaj Sahu, an OBC leader from the state is said to be the front-runner so far. 

  • 15:14 (IST)

    It's advantage Kamal Nath in MP CM race; Akali Dal threatens massive Sikh protests

    As Kamal Nath emerged front-runner for the post of Madhya Pradesh chief minister, a Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader today accused the Congress leadership of "protecting the perpetrators" of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

    The Akali Dal alleges that Nath had a hand in the anti-Sikh riots that broke out in the national capital following the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984.

    "Whenever the Gandhi family comes to power, it protects the perpetrators of the 1984 riots. Now Rahul Gandhi and the Gandhi family are rewarding Kamal Nath as chief minister of Madhya Pradesh...," Akali Dal leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa said, according to PTI.

  • 15:09 (IST)

    Ashok Gehlot is the front-runner in Rajasthan CM race

    Two-time chief minister Ashok Gehlot appears to be emerging as the favourite for the chief minister's post in Rajasthan, after party chief Rahul Gandhi held hectic deliberations with senior leaders including him. It is advantage Gehlot, sources said, after he came out of Gandhi's residence.
     
    Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot is also a strong contender for the post. However, Gehlot looks set to return as chief minister of the western state for the third time. Gandhi also held a separate meeting with Pilot, prior to meeting Gehlot.

  • 15:01 (IST)

    Ashok Gehlot headed to Jaipur, Sachin Pilot remains in Delhi, say reports

    Times Now reported that after meeting Rahul Gandhi, Ashok Gehlot is headed to Jaipur along with Rajasthan observer KC Venugopal, whereas Sachin Pilot was still in Delhi. Several reports have pegged their guess on Gehlot becoming the dhief minister. Amid this, the news if true, could further indicate that indeed Gehlot has won the race to chief ministerial post. 

  • 14:50 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi to announce Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh CMs at 4 pm

    The long wait to know the chief ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh is about to be over. The Congress party has called a press conference t around 4 pm which will also be attended by Rahul Gandhi. It is expected that Rahul will reveal the names of the chief ministers of two states. 

  • 14:20 (IST)

    Even as reports say Kamal Nath's selection as MP CM near final, Scindia supporters conduct puja for him 

  • 14:01 (IST)

    Kamal Nath to be next MP CM, say reports; official announcement after 5 pm

     

    CNN-news18 reported quoting sources that Kamal Nath is all set to be the Madhya Pradesh chief minister and the official annoncement about the same would be made after 5 pm today. Meanwhile, Kamal Nath is returning to Bhopal ahead of the MLAs meet. The announcement is expected to come after the meeting. 

  • 13:46 (IST)

    Meanwhile, Telangana Rashtriya Samiti chief has taken oath as Telangana chief minister

    TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao, who led his party to a resounding victory in the Assembly elections, was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Telangana for a second straight term Thursday. Earlier in the day, Rao was unanimously elected leader of the TRS Legislature Party by the newly-elected MLAs. The MLAs met at the Telangana Bhavan, the TRS headquarters here, and took the decision unanimously, party sources said.

    In the December 7 elections, the TRS won 88 seats in the 119-member assembly, trouncing the Congress-led People's Front, which ended up with a tally of 21.

  • 13:10 (IST)

    Meanwhile, BJP Sees 'no pattern' in election losses, brushes aside speculation of trouble in 2019

    After a review meeting to analyse the electoral losses in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, the BJP has reportedly come to the conclusion that there was no pattern emerging from the defeats, effectively brushing aside speculation that it would face a tough re-election in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. 

    Nonetheless, things look grim for the party. Before the disappointment of the latest round of assembly polls, the Narendra Modi juggernaut was rolling ahead since the spectacular victory of 2014, when the BJP won close to 80 per cent of Lok Sabha seats in eight states including Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

     
     
    Now, its assembly election loss in these three Hindi heartland states has added to the BJP's woes, as the party faces challenges from a resurgent Congress and alignment of opposition forces in states like Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Bihar for the 2019 election. 

  • 13:03 (IST)

    After Sachin Pilot, Ashok Gehlot reaches Rahul Gandhi's residence 

  • 12:55 (IST)

    Madhya Pradesh Congress stands by Kamal Nath, says raking up 1984 issue BJP propaganda 

    Leaders in the Congress support Kamal Nath, inspite of the allegations around 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Shobha Oza, party spokesperson said, "From day 1 all our leaders made it clear that the fight isn’t about who will become the Chief Minister, our fight was to uproot the corrupt government of BJP. And it was a difficult battle which Kamal Nath ji has won."

    Another Congress leader Narendrea Saluja said, "There is no proof against Kamal Nath. BJP is trying to run these campaigns because they lost in the elections, they have done this kind of dirty politics before."

  • 12:25 (IST)

    Rajasthan observer KC Venugopal says CM announcement likely by evening

    Congress leader Avinash Pandey and Rajasthan observer KC Venugopal met Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday. Speaking to the press later, they said that Rahul has been made aware of their discussions in Rajasthan, and he will take the final decision after speaking to Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot. A decision is likely by today evening.

  • 12:12 (IST)

    Kamal Nath top contender for MP CM post but 1984 Sikh riots haunt Congress

    Even as reports claim that in Madhya Pradesh, it will be Kamal Nath, and not Jyotiraditya Scindia, who will be sworn in as the chief minister, the shadows of 1984 anti-Sikh riots dog Congress veteran. Although he faces no criminal cases, Kamal Nath has been named by several eye-witness as a key accused in the case. Some Sikh riot victims had claimed that Nath had led a rioting mob near the Rakab Ganj Gurudwara in new Delhi. 

    The BJP and Shiromani Akali Dal leaders have been especially pointing to these allegations, stating that the Congress party should not hurt Sikh sentiments and pick another leader to be the chief minister. Other Twitter users also joined in, urging the Congress not to pick Nath as the chief minister 

  • 11:43 (IST)

    Rajasthan: What's tipping the scales in favour of Ashok Gehlot, despite Pilot getting credit for resurrecting Congress?

    Sachin Pilot was made Rajasthan Congress chief at a time when the party was at its lowest point. The young leader took the command of the party and managed to bring it to the front row through extensive campaigning, people to people connect, and playing a strong Opposition in the Assembly. However, it is the two-time chief minister of Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot who currently seems to be leading in the race to CM. 

    This is partly because the six rebel Congress MLAs who have won as Independents are ready to prop up the Congress government under Gehlot. According to The Indian Express, a delegation of six Independent MLAs who are Congress rebels, met Gehlot at his residence in the morning. The Congress was falling one short of the majority mark earlier, but can now form the government without help of the Independent MLAs after BSP chief Mayawat

  • 11:12 (IST)

    Pilot supporter pens letter in blood, Gehlot faction performs puja in Jodhpur; emotions run high in state

    Emotions are running high in Rajasthan as Congress workers are divided in factions over the chief minister's pick. According to India Today, a supporter of Rajesh Pilot, the Congress Pradesh Committee Chief, has penned a letter to Rahul Gandhi. The letter was apparently written in blood. 

    Meanwhile, News18 reported that several supporters of Ashok Gehlot, also a front-runner for Rajasthan chief minister, are conducting a puja in Jodhpur to pray for the two-time chief minister.   

  • 10:52 (IST)

    Consulting all, you will see who's chief minister soon, says Rahul Gandhi

    Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who was in Parliament in New Delhi said, "We are taking inputs from different people in the party. We are taking inputs from MLAs, from workers. You will see a Chief Minister soon."

Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh govt formation LATEST Updates: Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) chief Kamal Nath announced as the chief minister of the newly-elected Congress government in the state.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi has deferred the decision on naming the chief ministers of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh for Friday as he wants to hold further discussions with party leaders, party sources told PTI.

The decision on naming the Rajasthan chief minister is likely to be announced late Thursday night, News18 quoted sources as saying.

Rahul and Sonia Gandhi have not been able to placate Sachin Pilot, News18 quoted sources as saying. Pilot reportedly told Sonia and Rahul not making him Rajasthan chief minister will 'send the wrong message'.

Kamal Nath is set to be the next chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, NDTV, ABP and India Today quoted sources as saying. Nath will reportedly be sworn in on 15 December, sources said. Firstpost has not been able to independently verify these reports.

 Jyotiraditya Scindia, speaking to ANI after leaving party chief Rahul Gandhi's residence, said, "It is not a race, it is not about kursi, we are here to serve the people of Madhya Pradesh. I am leaving for Bhopal and you will get to know the decision today."

Speaking to ANI after leaving Congress president Rahul Gandhi's residence, Kamal Nath said he was leaving for Bhopal where an MLAs meeting would be held. "We will announce the CM name after that," the senior grand old party leader said.

Former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot has been told to remain in Delhi by Congress high command, according to several media reports. Gehlot returned to his Delhi residence from the airport,

Rajasthan Congress leader Ashok Gehlot told ANI the decision on naming the chief minister of Rajasthan would be taken soon and there is nothing to worry about. "Te decision has to be taken on CMs of three states so naturally, it takes time. The party president will take a call," the Rajasthan chief ministerial candidate said.

Rajasthan CM probable Sachin Pilot has urged his supporters to maintain decorum after reports emerged that his supporters have blocked a road in Karauli. In his tweet, Pilot also said that he has full confidence in the party leadership and that he will take whatever decision is taken by Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi.

Meanwhile, a poster congratulating Kamal Nath for being named CM has been put up outside the Congress' Bhopal office, ANI reported.

Congress workers clashed outside the home of Chhattisgarh chief minister contender Bhupesh Baghel, News18 reported.

Jyotiraditya Scindia's supporters have congregated outside the Congress party office in Bhopal, ANI reported.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has arrived at Rahul Gandhi's residence as Madhya Pradesh CM post front-runner Jyotiraditya Scindia was already present at his residence. Earlier in the day, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was also seen at Rahul's residence.  

The long wait to know the chief ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh is about to be over. The Congress party has called a press conference t around 4 pm which will also be attended by Rahul Gandhi. It is expected that Rahul will reveal the names of the chief ministers of two states.

Congress leader Avinash Pandey and Rajasthan observer KC Venugopal met Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday. Speaking to the press later, they said that Rahul has been made aware of their discussions in Rajasthan, and he will take the final decision after speaking to Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot. A decision is likely by today evening.

File image of Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Kamal Nath. PTI

File image of Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Kamal Nath. PTI

Emotions are running high in Rajasthan as Congress workers are divided in factions over the chief minister's pick. According to India Today, a supporter of Rajesh Pilot, the Congress Pradesh Committee Chief, has penned a letter to Rahul Gandhi. The letter was apparently written in blood.

Meanwhile, News18 reported that several supporters of Ashok Gehlot, also a front-runner for Rajasthan chief minister, are conducting a puja in Jodhpur to pray for the two-time chief minister.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who was in Parliament in New Delhi said, "We are taking inputs from different people in the party. We are taking inputs from MLAs, from workers. You will see a Chief Minister soon."

Rahul Gandhi has reached out directly to the party workers in the three states to know their top choice for the chief minister post through an internal mobile messaging app, party leaders said. He is said to have recorded a special audio message, urging MLAs to let him know their preference directly via the internal messaging app. Congress chief assured the Congress workers of complete secrecy, adding that their preferences will only be known to Rahul himself, and no one else.

So far, reports indicate that scales are tipped in favour of experience rather than youth. All signs point to Nath and Gehlot leading the race in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. However, internal sources told CNN-News18 that there's an undercurrent of support for the idea that the respective Pradesh Congress Committee chiefs should be chosen as the chief ministers of the states. The argument makes Kamal Nath, Sachin Pilot and Bhupesh Baghel the chief minster probables in MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh respectively. A proposal has circulated internally within the Congress circles to this effect. It remains to be seen whether Congress chief takes this argument into account.

With numbers in place to form governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the elected Congress MLAs on Wednesday authorised the party's national president Rahul Gandhi to decide the chief ministers as senior leaders including top contenders held hectic parleys through the day and till late in night.

As suspense mounted on who would get the top job in the three states, party leaders said the names could now be announced on Thursday after Gandhi meets the observers appointed for the three states and other senior leaders.

Gandhi, on the other hand, has also reached out directly to the party workers in the three states to know their top choice for the chief minister post through an internal mobile messaging app, party leaders said.

Among other two states that also went to polls, K Chandrashekar Rao would be sworn in as Chief Minister on Thursday with his party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, storming back to power for the second consecutive term and with a bigger mandate.

In Mizoram, where Mizo National Front has trounced Congress to wrest power of the hill state, the party president Zoramthanga would be sworn in as chief minister on Saturday.

In all the three states where Congress has emerged victorious signalling a newfound energy in the party ranks to stop the BJP juggernaut before the 2019 general elections, the newly-elected MLAs met in the presence of party's central observers, while party leaders also met governors in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan to stake government formation claims.

In Rajasthan, the top contenders for the top post are Pradesh Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot, both of whom won huge victories in their constituencies.

After a late night meeting, Pilot told waiting reporters that the process of getting the feedback was almost complete and the party high-command would take the final decision on Thursday.

He did not give any direct reply to a pointed question on whether he was ready to take the responsibility, saying "Let's see, what happens".

In Madhya Pradesh, where three-time Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhhan tendered his resignation to Governor Anandiben Patel, the Congress team that later met the governor to stake government claim included two top contenders for the top job -- Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Scindia also later told reporters that a final decision was expected Thursday.

The MLAs in Chhattisgarh also met late evening in Raipur in presence of the party's central observer Mallikarjun Kharge. There are as many four names doing the round for the state chief minister post -- Lok Sabha member Tamradhwaj Sahu, state party chief Bhupesh Baghel, Leader of Opposition in the outgoing Assembly TS Singhdeo and senior leader Charandas Mahant.

The legislature party meeting in Jaipur lasted for almost seven hours, while Bhopal and Raipur also saw long-running meetings.

The top leaders from the three states, as also the central observers, are expected to meet Gandhi on Thursday, while hectic lobbying was expected to continue through the night on Wednesday.

Central observers A K Antony for Madhya Pradesh and K C Venugopal for Rajasthan took the opinion of newly-elected MLAs, party leaders said.

Senior party leaders in the national capital said the meetings of MLAs and authorising the party chief is part of an established process within the party for selecting the chief ministers.

Belying predictions of exit polls, the Congress won convincingly in Chhattisgarh, less so in Rajasthan, and scraped through with a wafer-thin lead in Madhya Pradesh, final results showed after the vote count on Tuesday.

Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi described the party's good showing in the Hindi heartland states as a victory over the BJP's "negative politics".

The Congress emerged as the single-largest party in Rajasthan in Tuesday's vote count, winning 99 seats. It's 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. BSP leader Mayawati on Wednesday pledged support for the Congress. The CPI(M) got two seats, Independents won 13 and other parties got 6, according to the state Election Commission.

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, while the BJP got only 15 seats. A party needs to win 46 seats to form government in the state. 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 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.

Mayawati and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav announced their parties' support to the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, where BSP has got two and SP one seat. Congress has also claimed support of the four independents, all party rebels, who have emerged victorious.

In Mumbai, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said the Assembly election results mark the "beginning of a change" and a "rejection" of the BJP-led government's policies. The Shiv Sena, an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Maharashtra, said people have brought "those flying in the air back to the ground".

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Updated Date: Dec 13, 2018 23:57 PM

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