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'Ab main mukt hoon': Conceding defeat, MP CM for 13 years Shivraj Singh Chouhan resigns

Shivraj Singh Chouhan met the Governor and resigned from the post of Chief Minister.

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Shivraj Singh Chouhan tenders resignation, ANI
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Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday conceded defeat saying he will not stake claim to form the government as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has failed to achieve the majority in the state. 

Chouhan's BJP and the Congress were locked in a neck-and-neck contest in the state in the Assembly polls with the opposition party finally coming on top and emerging as the single-largest party

"We have decided that we will not stake claim to form the government as we have not achieved clear majority. I am going to meet the Governor and will offer my resignation," Chouhan said in Bhopal on Wednesday, soon after the final tally of seats was declared by the Election Commission. 

"Ab mein mukt hoon (I am free). I have tendered my resignation to the honourable Governor. The responsibility of defeat lies solely and only with me. Our workers worked hard and we even got more votes. I have congratulated Kamal Nath ji," Chouhan said after meeting the Governor Anandiben Patel at the Raj Bhavan. 

Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, who along with Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath, led the party's campaign in the state, addressed the media after Chouhan's resignation but refused to say who will be the Chief Minister of the state. He said that while the "arrogant BJP" claimed it would get 200 seats in the state alone, they failed to achieve 200 seats in 5 states - Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Telangana - combined. 

Scindia ducked the question on who will be the Chief Minister and added that the party high command will take a call in this regard.

"As promised to the citizens and voters, Congress has packed off BJP government in MP," Scindia said. 

"It was not just the farm distress but voters voted out BJP government on other issues including lack of woman security, rising unemployment in MP," he added. 

Before meeting the Governor to stake claim to form the government, Kamal Nath said the decision on the Chief Minister's name will be taken later. Congratulating Chouhan, Nath said he fought a good fight. 

The Congress has emerged as the single-largest party with 114 seats after the vote count ended on Wednesday morning.

Kamal Nath, who wrote to Governor Anandiben Patel late on Tuesday night staking claim to form the government in the state, has received an appointment from the Raj Bhavan. With the support of 121 MLAs, Nath will stake claim to the government. 

The Congress, which was two short of the simple majority mark of 116 in the 230-member Assembly, has received support of two BSP MLAs with Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati saying that she wants to keep the BJP at bay. 

As per the final results declared by the Election Commission after 24 hours of counting, the Congress won 114 seats while the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 109 seats. 

The Mayawati-led BSP has won two seats and the Samajwadi Party (SP) has won one seat. Independents form the third largest block after the BJP and the Congress, emerging victorious on four seats. They are all Congress supporters and are said to be close to former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh. 

The four Independents are: Kedar Chidabhai Dawar from Bhagwanpura, Thakur Surendra Singh Naval Singh from Burhanpur, Vikaram Singh Rana Guddu Bhai from Susner and Pradeep Amratlal Jaiswal (Gudda) from  Waraseoni.

While the Congress scored more seats to end BJP's 15-year rule, the saffron party edged of the Rahul Gandhi-led outfit in the vote share by a slender margin. 

It got 41% of the total votes polled, while the Congress got 40.9%.

(With inputs from Sanjay Jog in Bhopal) 

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