Kamal Nath is the new chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, the Congress tweeted from its official handle. "An era of change is upon MP," the Congress tweeted. "Our best wishes to Shri @OfficeOfKNath for being elected CM of Madhya Pradesh," the tweet said. The announcement comes after suspense throughout the day over who would become the chief minister of the state. The Congress is yet to announce who will become the chief ministers of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
In Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot has an edge over Sachin Pilot to be chief minister Rajasthan, sources have told NDTV. Earlier today, top Congress leaders from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh went into a huddle with Congress president Rahul Gandhi to discuss who will be chief ministers for the two states.
At the Congress' legislature party meeting yesterday, MLAs from both states passed an order saying the final decision will be that of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.
The BJP too has arranged a marathon 7-hour meeting today where the results of the recently held assembly elections would be analysed. BJP chief Amit Shah has reportedly asked for a detailed report from each district of each states. The BJP would also discuss in detail the party's future plan of action keeping the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in mind. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address BJP MPs, which will be followed by a seven-hour meeting of its key organisational leaders.
The assembly election results on Tuesday came as the biggest electoral setback to the BJP since it stormed to power at the centre in 2014.
Here are the highlights from the Congress and BJP's crucial meetings today after the 2018 election results:
Kamal Nath, 72, was a shoo-in for the post after he led the Congress to a narrow victory in the state election and ended the BJP's dream-run in the key heartland state.
Many congratulations @OfficeOfKNath ji, thank you for your support, leadership and guidance during the entire campaign. Wishing you all the very best as the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh! pic.twitter.com/RUzGhK55Af- Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) December 13, 2018
The buzz about veteran leader Kamal Nath being picked for the Chief Minister's post in Madhya Pradesh has triggered protests among the Sikh community. Its prominent leaders have warned the Congress of repercussions if Mr Nath, who, they say, had a role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, be chosen to head a state.
Rahul Gandhi tweeted a photo with Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya on Thursday evening, all smiles and their arms linked in harmony, indicating that the fight for the chief minister's job in at least one state was over. Kamal Nath is likely to be named chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, a decision that his younger rival Jyotiraditya Scindia apparently accepted after marathon meetings. The race remains open in Rajasthan, where Ashok Gehlot is the leadership's favourite but state Congress chief Sachin Pilot has put up a strong fight.
The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.- Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) December 13, 2018
- Leo Tolstoy pic.twitter.com/MiRq2IlrIg
Rajasthan Election Results 2018: Sachin Pilot today appealed to Congress workers for "peace and decorum" amid reports of his supporters blocking the highway in the tense race for the post of Rajasthan chief minister.
Sachin Pilot today appealed to Congress workers for "peace and decorum" amid reports of his supporters blocking the highway in the tense race for the post of Rajasthan chief minister. Two-time chief minister Ashok Gehlot was emerging as the party's choice, sources said after Rahul Gandhi met the two leaders in Delhi. But Sachin Pilot has reportedly refused to stand down quietly. As the wait for an announcement dragged on, there were reports that Sachin Pilot's supporters were protesting on a highway in Rajasthan.
Sonia Gandhi joined Congress president Rahul Gandhi for discussions today as the party confronted a tense race for the chief minister's post in two big states it won this week just months before the national election - Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. This morning, Sonia Gandhi had said in response to NDTV's question on who would be chief minister: "Ask Rahul." Hours later, the party chief was no closer to any decision. His sister Priyanka Vadra also joined the meeting as the party pulled out the heavy artillery to tackle the crisis.
It took nearly 3000 phone calls and an all-night vigil to ensure that the Congress did not lose its narrow lead against the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, a leader familiar with the circumstances has told NDTV.
It may be Congress' secret weapon this election season and the key to true democratic power. On Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi's audio message went to at least two lakh Congress workers across Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, who were encouraged to name their choice for chief minister to the Congress president through the Shakti app.
Congratulations to KCR Garu on taking oath as the CM of Telangana. Best wishes for his tenure ahead.- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 13, 2018
A large number of supporters are present at the civil lines residence of Mr Gehlot, while Mr Pilot's supporters are also present near his house in Jalupura, according to PTI.
"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.
Apart from their residences, the party members and leaders are also present at the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee office at Jaipur's Sansarchandra road and waiting for the clearance from the party high command over the name of the chief minister.
Many Gurjar community members and supporters of Mr Pilot had assembled near the PCC office Wednesday when the Congress Legislature Party meeting was going on for the discussion over the name of the chief minister and kept raising slogans in support of Mr Pilot, according to PTI.
"We are waiting for the official announcement of the chief minister's name. The decision was left on the party president. Nothing can be said at this moment," party lawmaker Raghu Sharma said.
After its worst election losses since coming to power in 2014, the ruling BJP has received a sharp message from one of its oldest allies. Naresh Gujral, a leader of the Akali Dal, has said that the BJP has to "quickly settle" with allies or it will be in big trouble in the 2019 general election.
Rocked by regional election defeats and investor dismay at the surprise loss of the central bank chief, India's ruling party is doubling down on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In the middle of intense negotiations in the Congress for the top job in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, Sonia Gandhi, asked who she thought would be chief minister, said: "Please ask Rahul".
Rajasthan Election Results 2018: Ashok Gehlot is likely to be Rajasthan chief minister for the third time, Congress sources said today after Rahul Gandhi met both him and his rival Sachin Pilot in Delhi. The Congress president is expected to make an announcement shortly.
Before setting upon the challenge of deciding chief ministers for two big states and negotiating with two sets of leaders angling for the job, Rahul Gandhi told reporters this morning: "Of course, you have to see a chief minister soon."
Sources say Kamal Nath is a cinch for Madhya Pradesh, where the Congress won a narrow victory in the election, emerging as the largest party but touching majority only with support from Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
Jyotiraditya Scindia, who reportedly also wants the job, is likely to be offered the post of deputy. While state chief Kamal Nath, 72, has the backing of a large section of legislators, Mr Scindia's argument is that he has greater popular support. When NDTV asked him yesterday whether he would like to be chief minister, the 47-year-old replied: "Absolutely, I would be honoured to serve as chief minister."
In Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot is likely to be the next chief minister, Congress sources said today amid reports of an intense contest between the two-time chief minister and state chief Sachin Pilot.
Sources say 67-year-old Ashok Gehlot, an experienced warhorse, has the support of party leaders in Delhi with an eye on the 2019 national election. Sachin Pilot, credited with recharging the Congress in Rajasthan after its poorest show in state polls in 2013, reportedly put up a fight. There was "not even a blade of grass in the state" when he took charge, he had reportedly argued.
Rahul Gandhi's audio message to 2.4 lakh Congress workers, urging them to reveal to him - "after this beep" - their choice of chief minister in complete confidence, reflects the party's challenging task after scoring poll victories in three big heartland states.
The close election battles in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, say Congress leaders, has made the choice more difficult as the party prepares for the national poll campaign.
Chief Ministerial candidates from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have reached Rahul Gandhi's residence, where the meeting with the Congress chief in under way.
While Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia are being considered for the top post in Madhya Pradesh, Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot are the names suggested for Rajasthan.
Rahul Gandhi will also decide who the next chief minister of Chhattisgarh will be. For Chhattisgarh, the front-runners are Lok Sabha member Tamradhwaj Sahu, who successfully contested the Assembly election from Durg Rural seat, state party chief Bhupesh Baghel and senior leader TS Singh Deo.
Rahul Gandhi will make the final decision today, after which the names of chief ministers for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh will be announced.
Prime Minister Modi will address the MPs and top leaders at the meeting.
The parliamentary party meet will be followed by a seven-hour marathon meeting of key organisational leaders with Amit Shah.
PM Modi's address to BJP parliamentarians is a weekly affair when parliament is in session but this time, it has greater significance because of the BJP's state election losses just months before the national election.
On Tuesday, the BJP lost three big states, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, to the Congress. Its attempt to widen its base in Telangana failed too, as its tally fell from five to one seat. In Mizoram, the BJP won one seat while the opposition Mizo National Front decimated the ruling Congress.
Amit Shah will hold discussions with top party leaders for what is likely to be a long meeting till late into the evening. The meeting was planned before the results were announced, according to sources quoted by news agency Press Trust of India.
PM Modi had tweeted on Tuesday that "the party accepts the results with humility" and that "victory and defeat are an integral part of life". He said the results would further the BJP's resolve to serve people and the party will work even harder for the development of India.
The losses for the BJP in the heartland states are huge - the party won 62 seats of the 65 Lok Sabha constituencies in the three states in 2014. The party needs to put up a strong show in these states in the 2019 national polls for anything close to its spectacular performance in the last elections.
#WATCH: Supporters of Congress leader Sachin Pilot raise slogans outside All India Congress Committee headquarters in Delhi demanding his selection as Rajasthan Chief Minister pic.twitter.com/KSZ6nnMPHc- ANI (@ANI) December 13, 2018
Supporters of Congress leader Sachin Pilot have gathered outside All India Congress Committee headquarters in Delhi and are raising slogans demanding selection of Pilot as Rajasthan Chief Minister pic.twitter.com/xr2vJ1OXez- ANI (@ANI) December 13, 2018
TS Singh Deo, Congress: We can't make the conclusion of confidential discussion public. MLAs are given the rights that they can express their individual opinions, nothing will be disclosed for now. Decision on CM candidate (Chhattisgarh) should be taken by today pic.twitter.com/KEv68KnkrA- ANI (@ANI) December 13, 2018
Her son and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has the tough task today of deciding chief ministers for the three big states won by the party on Tuesday.
"We are taking inputs from different people in the party - from MLAs, from workers... We are getting a comprehensive answer to what the Congress party and others feel... of course you have to see a chief minister soon," he told reporters as he left parliament to return to his party office to meet the two sets of leaders fighting for the chief minister's post in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan - Kamal Nath, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot.
On Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi took the unusual step of sending an audio message to over two lakh party workers in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and urging them to use an app to reveal their choice of chief minister.
Speaking to NDTV, Rahul Gandhi said it was an attempt to connect with the party workers and get them to communicate, and also an effort to find out who would be suitable for the top post.
Sonia Gandhi, who gave the party reins to her son after 19 years last December, agreed that he was attempting something "different and refreshing". "An experiment, but this is a good experiment," she said.
In the audio message, the Congress President asks workers to name their choice and promises complete confidentiality. "Who should be the chief minister? Please mention just one name. I'm the only person who would know whom you are naming. No one in the party will know. Please speak after the beep," he says.
On Tuesday, the Congress president had said there would be "no issue" over chief ministership. "It will be done smoothly," he had said, in contrast to the intense lobbying that had already begun on the night of counting.
Watch: Rahul Gandhi's audio message to 2.4 lakh Congress workers
Sources say the Congress is weighing a formula that will keep both leaders happy, since it is the combined strength of both that has brought the party this far. Such a formula may involve positioning one leader in Delhi for a national role, leaving the other to manage Rajasthan.
All India Congress Committee's observer for Chhattisgarh, Mallikarjun Kharge: All MLAs have unanimously authorised AICC President Rahul Gandhi to select Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader (for Chhattisgarh). Whatever decision he takes, the MLAs are ready to accept pic.twitter.com/X5hkhSQFG3- ANI (@ANI) December 13, 2018
Delhi: #Visuals of BJP Parliamentary party meeting from Parliament library building. PM Narendra Modi, BJP Chief Amit Shah, Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj, Prakash Javadekar, Kiren Rijiju,Ravi Shankar Prasad,senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani, among others present in the meeting pic.twitter.com/eDqn1SVyha- ANI (@ANI) December 13, 2018
BJP President Amit Shah to chair a meeting at BJP headquarters in Delhi today to discuss the defeat in recent assembly elections in 5 states & to plan agenda for 2019 General Elections. State Presidents and State in-charges of BJP will be present in the meeting. pic.twitter.com/g2o6MoKaZj- ANI (@ANI) December 13, 2018
Ashok Gehlot: Observers have taken everyone's opinion, in a peaceful way. Congress President Rahul Gandhi had to take a decision (on Rajasthan CM candidate), observers have arrived in Delhi. A discussion will be held and the decision will be taken today pic.twitter.com/POIhp9jwgp- ANI (@ANI) December 13, 2018