- Early trends show Congress will win in Rajasthan: Sachin Pilot
- The mandate is against BJP, a huge blow to its arrogant politics, he said
- Confident of lead, but in touch with like-minded parties, he said
The Congress was ahead of the ruling BJP in Rajasthan but appeared set for a struggle to form the government as votes were counted for the elections held on December 7 in the state. The desert state looks set to preserve its tradition of voting out the ruling party.
Celebrations broke out early in the Congress as it established a lead in Rajasthan, as predicted by most exit polls.
"Early trends show Congress will win a full majority and form government in Rajasthan," said Sachin Pilot, the president of the Congress in Rajasthan and one of the two main candidates for chief minister.
But as the BJP closed the gap, disappointment set in for the Congress; the party was struggling to cross the 100 mark in the 199-seat Rajasthan.
That the Congress is looking for insurance was revealed by Sachin Pilot, who addressing a press conference, said: "I am in touch with all parties that believe in the Congress. The mandate is against the BJP and is a huge blow to the arrogant politics of the BJP."
Assembly Elections 2018 Live Results : Rajasthan
He also said his party had won a "moral victory" and added: "Even though we are certain we will have the numbers by ourselves but I would like to reach out to other like-minded parties and leaders to form the government."
A lower margin could open the Congress up to infighting. Already, slogans in support of Sachin Pilot and veteran Ashok Gehlot, a three-time chief minister, rivalled each other in the state.
"Who will get what role, the Congress high command will decide. Rahul Gandhi will discuss and take a decision," Mr Pilot, 40, said.
He added that there was "no better gift" for Rahul Gandhi today, exactly a year to the day he took over as Congress president.
Two-time Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, the first woman to take the top post in the state, is seeking another term against all odds.
She is seeking re-election from Jhalrapatan assembly seat, where the Congress has fielded BJP veteran Jaswant Singh's son Manvendra Singh.
Voting took place in 199 of the state's 200 assembly constituencies; a candidate died in one seat.