- Congress faces a tough choice in Madhya Pradesh to select chief minister
- Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia are both contenders for the post
- Mr Scindia highlighted Congress win in his stronghold in Gwalior-Chambal
In the middle of a tug of war over the chief minister's post in Madhya Pradesh, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia today made it clear he was ready for the job if his party were to give it to him. "Absolutely...It would be an honour to serve as chief minister," Mr Scindia told NDTV.
The rivalry at the top dominated the Congress campaign in Madhya Pradesh, though the trio of Kamal Nath, Digvijaya Singh and Mr Scindia paused the in-house drama for the elections. This morning, the three went together to Governor Anandiben Patel and staked claim to form the next government in Madhya Pradesh. They came out and flashed victory signs.
"I am a servant of the people, have always been and will always be. What form that will take, be it through Madhya Pradesh or as minister of central government or chief whip, it is for my party to decide," Mr Scindia, 47, said.
The Congress has narrowly won Madhya Pradesh, emerging the largest party but falling two short of a majority, a shortfall it has bridged after Mayawati pledged her support "to keep the BJP out".
Telegraphing his readiness to take charge, Mr Scindia has, since yesterday, underscored that the Congress won magnificently in the Gwalior-Chambal region, which is his stronghold. The strike rate was almost 80 per cent, he said.
Of the 34 seats in the region, the party won by a landslide in 23, he said. "It is evident and clear where we performed," said the former royal of Gwalior.
"Almost 25 per cent of the total votes that the Congress won are from the Gwalior-Chambal region," he flagged, adding, once again, that he wanted to "thank the people of Gwalior-Chambal for voting congress."
He has been accepting congratulatory garlands too - he had pledged not to wear any until the BJP had been ousted.
Asked whether he agreed that in all fairness, the party's state chief - Kamal Nath in this case - should automatically become chief minister, Mr Scindia said: "I believe everything is fair. I believe whatever decision the party takes, it is for all of is to support it."
Yesterday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said there would be "no issue" over chief ministership. "It will be done smoothly," he said.