Ashok Gehlot resigned as Chief Minister after poll trends showed a Congress defeat
Ashok Gehlot resigned as Rajasthan Chief Minister this evening after the BJP posted a comfortable victory in Rajasthan in the November 25 polls, votes for which were counted today.
As the trends stabilised nearly 11 hours into the counting, Mr Gehlot reached Governor Kalraj Mishra's residence and put in his papers. The BJP is currently leading in 115 seats in Rajasthan, well past the majority mark of 100. The Congress trails far behind, with 70 seats.
Earlier, Mr Gehlot accepted defeat, describing it as "shocking". "This shows that we were not fully successful in taking our policies, laws and governance practices to the people," he said.
Wishing the new government all the best, Mr Gehlot said, "I have a piece of advice for the new government. Just because we were not successful despite working doesn't mean the new government doesn't work at all," he said, urging the next government to further advance its initiatives such as Old Pension Scheme.
Speaking to the media later, Mr Gehlot said the Congress would examine the reasons behind the election results.
"There was talk of bringing new faces, and new faces should come, but this demand was not there in MP and Chhattisgarh and still we lost the election. It would be wrong to say that we would have won the election if new faces were brought," he said in reply to a question.
The infighting between camps led by Ashok Gehlot and his ousted deputy Sachin Pilot is being seen as a key factor behind the Congress's defeat. Mr Pilot had led a mutiny against the state government in 2020, almost toppling it.
While the Congress then managed to save the day, the tussle continued to harm its prospects. Despite the two leaders putting up a show of unity in the run-up to the election, the party seems to have suffered due to the tension within its ranks.
Mr Gehlot said the Congress had expected a victory on the basis of its policies.
"We were expecting to win on the basis of our schemes, laws and promises. But, the government could not be formed," he said, adding that he would continue to work for the people irrespective of whether he holds a post or not.