New Delhi, Dec 11 : In a first major win for Rahul Gandhi since he took over the charge of grand old party, the Congress seemed all set to form Government in BJP-ruled Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
The trends for counting of votes for assembly polls showed the party surging ahead of the BJP in the Hindi heartland states while giving a tough fight to the saffron party in Madhya Pradesh.
The good showing by the Congress in the two Hindi heartland states of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and it giving a tough fight to the saffron party in Chhattisgarh is seen as a first win for Mr Rahul Gandhi as party president.
AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot wasted no time to credit the party president Mr Gandhi for party's spectacular show in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and also giving a tough challenge to Shivraj Singh Chouhan ruled Madhya Pradesh.
"The big message from the mandate is ever since he took over as the party president, Rahul Gandhi has given stiff challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah in their native state of Gujarat and also now in the states where the BJP is in power", Mr Gehlot told reporters. The BJP leader Nalin Kohli admitted the mandate in Chhattisgarh was clearly against the saffron party.
According to trends available by noon, it seems the return of TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao in Telangana and MNF chief Zoramthanga in Mizoram looked certain. In the Southern state of Telangana, TRS, headed to regain power leading in 87 seats in 119 member assembly. This is much better show by TRS than previous election in 2014 when it could manage to win only 63 seats.
In the last Congress bastion of Mizoram in North Eastern region, the grand old party seemed to be making way for the regional outfit MNF, which ruled the state between 1998 and 2008.
The Congress leader Shashi Tharoor mocked at the BJP leadership at the trends of the results and said the mandate seemed to be giving "wonderful news".
"Wonderful news pouring from Election 2018. In the memorable words of Arun Jaitley - Great day for India. No one who cheats India will got scot-free", Mr Tharoor tweeted in reference to Finance Minister's tweet yesterday after a London court had ordered extradition of fugitive business tycoon Vijay Mallya. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Rawat attributed the election results to the "anger of the people" and suggested that the NDA leadership should go for self introspection.
Latest trends of counting show the Congress taking a lead over the BJP in Rajasthan where it was leading in 95 seats while the BJP was ahead in 81 seats. In Chhattisgarh, too, the Congress took a comfortable lead of 63 seats while BJP was leading in just 18 seats.
The Chief Minister Raman Singh, who was trailing against Congress nominee and Atal Bihari Vajpayee's niece Karuna Shukla, however managed a slender lead of 100 votes from Rajnandgaon assembly constituency.
The state of Madhya Pradesh is witnessing a neck and neck fight heading for a photo-finish. The BJP, which is in power in the state since 2003, could maintain lead of 108 seats while the Congress has managed to march ahead in 109 seats.
The enthusiastic Congress leaders on Tuesday took to social network and described it as a 'mandate' for change. Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, chairman of Madhya Pradesh campaign committee, said: 'The mandate is clearly indicating the change". "I hope with all the dedicated workers, the Congress party will fulfill the public's expectations with full responsibility,' he wrote in Hindi.
Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi took at dig at BJP leadership and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "Legitimate illustration of the Modi Wave," he wrote.
Incidentally the good show by the Congress comes on a day which marks completion of one year of Rahul Gandhi as Congress president and also would provide a boost to the party's prospects in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The trends also come as a huge setback for the BJP, which has been in power in Rajasthan for the last five years and in Chhattisgarh for the last 15 years. (UNI)
Congress races ahead in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, Giving tough fight to BJP in MP
New Delhi, Dec 11 : The Congress on Tuesday seemed all set to wrest power in the Hindi heartland states of BJP-ruled Rajasthan and Chhattisharh while giving a stiff challenge in Madhya Pradesh.
According to trends of vote count for Rajasthan the Congress is heading for a win leading in 105 seats while the BJP was ahead in only 79 of the 199 seats for which polling as held.
In Chhattisgarh, BJP, which is in power for last 15 years, was trailing behind the Congress. While the Congress was leading in 52 while the BJP was ahead only in 27 seats.The newly floated JCC headed by Ajit Jogi and its alliance partner BSP of Mayawati could not make much of a mark. In another BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, Congress and BJP were neck and neck with Congress ahead in 110 and BJP only in 108.
Others were ahead in 17 seats and could play kingmaker in the event of a hung assembly. TRS led by K Chandrasekhar Rao seemed set to return to power in Telangana and was leading in 88 seats while Congress-TDP alliance was ahead only in 21 seats.
In the northeastern state of Mizoram, the regional outfit MNF seemed set to form the government and was ahead in 26 seats in the 40-member assembly while Congress was ahead in 8 seats.The BJP, which fielded 39 seats, was leading only in one seat.
The trends come as a major set back to the saffron party and could impact the NDA prospects in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.Reacting to the initial trends, BJP spokesman Sambit Patra admitted that it was a matter of concern that the saffron party could not put expected performance in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
However, he expressed hope that the Lotus party will be able to cross the magic number of 115 in Madhya Pradesh.(UNI)
Congress leads In Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh Madhya Pradesh, TRS In Telangana
When the counting of the first rounds is over, Congress is maintaining lead in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh while BJP maintained a marginal lead in Madhya Pradesh.
In Telangana, TRS has already crossed half way mark. TRS here is leading in 77 constituencies.