The Congress is heading for a resounding victory in the Karnataka State Assembly elections that was held on May 10.
At 12.15 pm on May 13, the Congress was leading in 125 constituencies, while the BJP and JD(S) were leading in 69 and 23 constituencies respectively; others had won 7 seats in the 224-member Karnataka Legislative Assembly elections.
Several ministers and sitting MLAs of the BJP lost the elections to the Congress candidates.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai (BJP), former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, KPCC president D. K. Shivakumar, former KPCC president G. Parameshwara and 91-year-old Shamanur Shivashakarappa, K. H. Muniyappa, and R. V. Deshpande (all Congress) are all set to emerge victorious.
The Congress won 80 seats in the 2018 Assembly elections, while the BJP – 104 and JD (S) – 37.
While the Congress swept north Karnataka, the BJP maintained its stronghold in coastal Karnataka.
The Congress is expected to improve its tally of its 2013 Assembly election result. In 2013, the party had won 122 seats.
Meanwhile, the Congress has called a meeting of its newly elected members of the Assembly on May 14 to decide the next course of action on the formation of the government.
Emerging from his residence in Bengaluru, AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge told media persons that the party sent a message to all winning candidates to reach Bengaluru by May 13 evening. The party would send observers to Bengaluru to work out a next plan of action.
“This victory is the Janata janardhana victory, and vote against the bad administration of the BJP government... The voters cast their votes wisely,” he said, and congratulated the victorious candidates.
While Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai (Shiggaon), former CM Siddaramaiah (Varuna), state Congress President D K Shivakumar (Kanakapura) and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy (Channapatna) are among the prominent faces leading in their respective segments, Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil (Ramanagara), BJP national General Secretary C T Ravi (Chikkamagaluru) and former CM Jagadish Shettar of the Congress (Hubli-Dharwad Central) are trailing.
Siddaramaiah said the party will come to power on its own strength by winning over 120 seats. The visits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and national BJP President J P Nadda have had no impact on the voters of Karnataka, he said.
Buoyed by the initial trends, Congress said the message given to the BJP was to stick to public issues that matter, even as the saffron party expressed hope of securing the simple majority of 113. Earlier in the day, the opposition party marched ahead establishing a lead in 112 constituencies, while the BJP was leading in 74 segments, the Election Commission (EC) trends of counting of votes polled in the Karnataka Assembly elections showed.
The former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda-led JD(S) was leading in 30 segments, and others in 5 seats.
BJP leader and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai (Shiggaon) and Congress State unit President D. K. Shivakumar (Kanakapura) were leading in their respective seats.
Former CM Jagadish Shettar, who quit the BJP after being denied to contest in the May 10 polls for the 224-member Assembly, was trailing in Hubballi-Dharwad Central by 2,614 votes. He was fielded there by the Congress.
JD(S) leader and another former CM, H. D. Kumaraswamy was leading in Channapatna against BJP's C. P. Yogeshwara by 93 votes.
Shivakumar was ahead of his BJP rival, state minister R. Ashoka by about 6,000 votes.
Congress leader Pavan Khera said, “This is the message for the BJP that please stick to issues that matter to everyday life of people and don’t try and divide India.”
Former Chief Minister and senior BJP leader D. V. Sadananda Gowda said: “It is too early to comment on the final results. But certainly we will cross 113.”.
(With inputs from PTI)