Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi today said the party will form government in all three heartland states. Within two hours of counting, the party has established a huge lead over the BJP in Rajasthan, which appears to be sticking to its trend of voting out the incumbent. In Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh -- where exit polls predicted hung verdicts -- the party is ahead.
"The right time to talk about actual elections is 10:30 to 11," Mr Singhvi told NDTV. "But let me stick my neck out and say we will win decisively in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and there might be some kind of close call in Chhattisgarh, which will result in us forming the government".
Chhattisgarh is witnessing a three-way battle, in which the ruling BJP is facing the Congress and the Ajit Jogi-Mayawati-led alliance.
"If push comes to shove, the third group in Chhattisgarh will support us," Mr Singhvi added.
Assembly Elections 2018 Live Results : Telangana
The third group -- the Ajit Jogi-Mayawati-led alliance -- is leading in six seats. Of the 90 seats in Chhattisgarh, the Congress is leading in 50-plus seats, the BJP in 20-plus. The majority mark is at 45.
A good performance by the Congress will give it a frontline position in the opposition, which is trying to forge a front against the BJP for next year's general elections.
The party is however trailing in Mizoram -- a state it ruled -- and Telangana, where it has taken on the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi in alliance with Chandrababu Naidu. A defeat will also be a setback for Mr Naidu, who has taken on the challenging task of getting the opposition parties on the same page for the anti-BJP front.