Madhya Pradesh Cliffhanger: Congress One Short Of Majority But Claims Victory

Congress leads in three BJP-ruled states, TRS in Telangana

The Congress party, however, claimed to have secured "clear majority" in a press conference at 2.30 am at the party's state headquarters in Madhya Pradesh's capital Bhopal.

BBC Hindi's Nitin Srivastava who is in Rajasthan, has been posting photos of the starkly different atmospheres at the BJP and Congress party offices in the state.

It was in keeping with these grandiose assertions that the BJP built the world's tallest statue - of Congress stalwart Vallabhbhai Patel, whom the BJP can be said to have misappropriated from the Congress - and announced the plans for an nearly equally large statue of Lord Ram.

India will hold nation-wide parliamentary elections early in 2019.

For the BJP, its ouster from three state governments comes at a time when it is facing criticism for its mishandling of India's central bank, the Reserve Bank of India leading to the controversial resignation of its governor Urjit Patel on Monday. The BJP-led government came to power in the state in October 2014.

He, however, expressed confidence that the Congress will get a majority on its own in the state.

The results from the five states on Tuesday have given the Congress a shot in the arm with the party regaining power in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Congress is leading in 94 constituencies and BJP is ahead on 80 seats while as many as 14 Independents are surging ahead. Since 1998, the BJP and the Congress have been in power alternatively with neither party able to retain power for a second term.

On Tuesday, celebrations erupted outside the Congress party headquarters in New Delhi, with supporters dancing, setting off firecrackers and brandishing posters praising Gandhi.

The party also performed poorly in the southern Indian state of Telangana and the north-east state of Mizoram, which also went to polls. "Congress will form Govt in three states".

The BJP says that "the result is a setback, but it is more to do with anti-incumbency factor". In Rajasthan, it led by 0.5 percentage point.

"It was incredible odds against which these elections were fought, where the Congress was outspent by a large margin by the BJP's incredible resources", Congress leader Shashi Tharoor told reporters after the victory. What's more, the Indian National Congress party (known as Congress)-which had dominated politics for most of the country's history since independence in 1947-had a much-diminshed presence, with not even enough seats in the lower house to hold formal opposition status. Despite the emphasis Modi's government has placed on economic growth and employment, it has not delivered enough jobs for India's burgeoning population.

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