The Congress, which was locked in a tantalising see-saw battle with the Bharatiya Janata Party in Madhya Pradesh, has emerged as the single-largest party with 114 seats after the vote count ended on Wednesday morning, according to the State Election Commission Office.
The party is, however, two short of the simple majority mark, 116 seats, in the 230-member assembly. The BJP was close behind with 109 seats.
The Bahujan Samaj Party won two seats and the Samajwadi Party one. Independents bagged four seats, Madhya Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer V L Kantha Rao said.
The BJP, however, edged ahead of the Congress in the vote share by a slender margin. It got 41 per cent of the total votes polled, while the Congress got 40.9 per cent.
With the Congress and the BJP falling short of a simple majority, the focus now shifts to smaller parties and Independents who will play an important role in government formation.
The Congress and the BJP declared their intention to form government with the help of others, including Independents, even before the final results were out.
Congress state president Kamal Nath submitted a letter to Governor Anandiben Patel, staking claim to form government late Tuesday night. He later said his party had the numbers to form government in the central state.
“We have majority numbers with us to form the government. Even Independents, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party have also supported us. We have sought an appointment with the governor and we will apprise her about the majority figure that we have and request her to invite us to form the government,” Nath told reporters in the early hours of Wednesday.
He said the party has called a meeting of its newly elected MLAs on Wednesday evening.
Meanwhile, the BJP said the Congress did not get people’s mandate to form government in the state and claimed that it was in touch with some Independents and other parties.
“The Congress has not got the mandate. Many Independents and others are in contact with the BJP. We will meet the governor tomorrow (Wednesday),” state BJP president Rakesh Singh said in a tweet late on Tuesday night.