Even as results were being counted in Madhya Pradesh late Tuesday night, the Congress declared they had won the state with a clear majority. In a press conference that lasted barely a minute at 2:30 am, the Congress' top 3 in the state - Kamal Nath, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Digvijaya Singh - said they had written a letter to the Governor to invite them so that they can prove their majority.
"I would like to inform you with extreme happiness that the Congress has won with a clear majority in Madhya Pradesh," Kamal Nath told reporters amid chaos in Bhopal.
The Congress has won 111 seats in the state and is leading in three others, which may take its total to 114, one short of halfway mark in the 230 seat assembly. Kamal Nath, a master strategist, has already opened talks with Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Samajwadi Party, Gondwana Gantantra Party and independents.
Kamal Nath had sought an appointment from Governor Anandiben Patel, the former chief minister of Gujarat, for tonight, but was asked to wait till all results are in.
"As the president of Pradesh Congress Committee, I seek an appointment with your Excellency late tonight, as soon as the results are officially declared along with my senior leaders to apprise you and seek your permission to form government in the state of Madhya Pradesh," he had written.
The Congress is now expected to meet the Governor in the morning.
The BJP, which has won 103 seats and is leading in another six has also not lost all hope in Madhya Pradesh, and will meet the Governor today.
"Congress does not have the mandate in the state. Many Independents are in touch with the BJP," tweeted BJP's state president Rakesh Singh.
Madhya Pradesh saw a close fight on Tuesday that swung wildly between the Congress and the BJP, whose Shivraj Singh Chouhan was eyeing a record fourth term.
In 2013 elections, the BJP had won 165 of the 230 seats, followed by the Congress at 58 and BSP at four.
A victory in the state sets the Congress up for a leadership battle between Kamal Nath, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Digvijaya Singh. So far, the party has been silent on the subject. As the results came in, Mr Scindia drove to Kamal Nath's house and the leaders arrived together at the party office in Bhopal.