Congress made a stunning comeback in Rajasthan winning 99 of 199 seats. Top leaders of the Congress will meet today to discuss and decide who will be the next chief minister of Rajasthan. Sources in the party say Ashok Gehlot has emerged as the front-runner for the post. Another popular choice for Rajasthan's next chief minister is Sachin Pilot. Rajasthan has a 200-member assembly, but polling on Alwar's Ramgarh constituency was postponed following the death of the Bahujan Samaj Party candidate. In 2013, the BJP won 163 seats and the Congress 21. With 101 seats this time, the Congress has had a significant rise of 80 seats. The drop for the BJP was massive too - going down 89 seats when compared with the previous assembly polls.
Here are the LIVE updates on the Rajasthan Election Result 2018 and Congress' meet to decide the next chief minister:
"The governor has given an appointment to a Congress delegation at 7 PM today," Raj Bhawan sources said.
"Whatever the MLAs have to say they will say in the meeting and final decision is left to the Congress president and other party leaders. We will take a call today," Mr Pilot told reporters in Jaipur.
Along with Mr Pilot, former chief minister Ashok Gehlot is also a contender for the top post in the state.
- We fought these elections to ensure that the BJP does not come back to power. While BSP has performed well, we did not do as well as we had thought.
- Our aim is to keep the BJP out of power. And that is why we have decided to support the Congress in Madhya Pradesh.
- We have decided to support the Congress in Rajasthan as well.
- He didn't make the Congress disappear altogether from Rajasthan and, in any case, the party's good showing in the assembly polls wasn't a solo act.
- At a conjurors' convention in 2015 - which he inaugurated by performing a little trick of his own - the veteran told the audience he would have followed his magician father's footstep had he not joined politics.
- In his early years as a politician, Mr Gehlot headed the Rajasthan unit of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) and was later seen as a staunch loyalist of the Gandhi family.
- Some in the party called him "gilli billi", a tag which referred to his past when he performed magic as an assistant to his father Laxman Singh Daksh on his tours.
- Sometimes called "Rajasthan's Gandhi" for his simple lifestyle and mass connect, Mr Gehlot has been chief minister twice earlier.
- The first stint was in 1998-2003 and the second ended in 2013, with the Bharatiya Janata Party's Vasundhara Raje succeeding him each time.
- He may not become the Chief Minister in Rajasthan if the party chooses to appoint the older, more experienced Ashok Gehlot, but the urbane politician, equally at home in a village as in the debating room of an English news channel, has more than earned his electoral stripes, say party leaders.
- Mr Pilot has undoubtedly helped steer the Congress from the depths of defeat in 2013 and has helped the party come closer to a victory in Rajasthan.
- To Mr Pilot goes the credit of ensuring that his party came back to power in Rajasthan, in keeping with the 'revolving door' tradition of voters (alternately choosing the BJP and the Congress).
- In 2013, when the Congress faced its worst defeat, winning just 21 seats against the BJP's 163, party President Rahul Gandhi handed the reins of the state to the next gen leader, a two-time parliamentarian and son of former leader Rajesh Pilot who died in 2000 in a road accident in Dausa. Mr Pilot, who served as minister in the UPA government in different capacities, accepted the challenge and refocused his attention from national politics to state level challenges.
- With Congress set to form governments in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan and locked in a close fight in Madhya Pradesh, party president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the selection of chief ministers in the three states will be done "smoothly".
- Mr Gandhi also said that the party effectively "ironed out" tensions among the leaders within the party in various states ahead of the elections.
- He also said that all the leaders worked unitedly which helped the party emerged victorious in three Hindi heartland states.