Congress emerging as single largest party in Rajasthan

December 8th, 2008 - 6:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Jaipur, Dec 8 (IANS) The Congress is emerging as the single largest party in Rajasthan bagging 96 seats in the 200-member state assembly as counting of votes polled Dec 4 in the elections was in progress Monday.Of the 198 seats filled so far, the Congress had won 96, and the BJP 77 while others had scraped 20.

The Congress candidates declared elected included former chief minister Ashok Gehlot, leader of opposition Hemaram Chaudhary, Brijendra Ola, son of former union minister Sis Ram Ola, and Bollywood actor and former state minister Bina Kak, among others.

Among the Congress leaders who lost the elections are state party president C.P. Joshi, who lost by one vote, former state unit chief B.D. Kalla and Harendra Mirdha, son of former union minister Ramniwas Mirdha.

Vishwendra Singh, who had switched over from BJP to the Congress just before the elections, also lost.

From the BJP, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, her cabinet colleagues Ghanshyam Tiwari, Kalicharan Saraf, Rajendra Singh Rathore and Prabhu Lal Saini were the winners.

Assembly speaker Sumitra Singh, and ministers in Raje’s cabinet Kalulal Gujjar and Nathu Singh Gujjar figured among the prominent BJP losers.

Meanwhile, senior leaders of the Congress party in the state have started to hold closed door meetings.

While the Congress party workers were seen celebrating, Rajasthan’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was busy introspecting on what went wrong.

With the Congress leading, its activists sang and danced outside the party office shouting slogans like “Aye Aye Congress Aye” (Congress has come), “Rahul Gandhi Zindabad” and “Sonia Gandhi Zindabad” to drumbeats.

“We have come back… we are going to form the government. We are very happy,” Rajesh Chaudhary, an excited Congress worker said.

“It shows that Rajasthan voters have rejected the BJP government and its claim of development. We are going to have a majority,” added Satyendra Raghav, the state spokesperson of the Congress.

Similar celebrations were seen outside former chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s residence.

“The people have given their verdict. The voters have voted against poor governance,” Gehlot told reporters.

Asked who would be the next chief minister, Gehlot said a leader was chosen democratically and the Congress would announce the name at an appropriate time.

Arun Chaturvedi, the BJP state spokesperson, had begun the analysis.

“The rebel factor has been the major factor for our not performing at the desired level. You will find after the results are declared that BJP rebels will win in a big way.”

“We have to introspect and see what went wrong”, said Om Prakash Mathur, state president of the BJP.

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