Congress surging ahead in Karnataka polls
The opposition Congress on Saturday appeared to be on course to break the BJP’s lone southern stronghold of Karnataka, moving towards the magic 113 target to form a separate government.
Buoyed by early trends, the Congress said the message given to the BJP was to stick to public issues, even as the saffron party expressed hope of a simple majority of 113.
The Opposition has emerged victorious in 112 constituencies, while the BJP is ahead in 74, the latest Election Commission (EC) trends of counting votes in the Karnataka Assembly polls show.
Janata Dal led by former Prime Minister Deve Gowda is leading in 30 constituencies and others in 5 seats.
BJP President and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai (Shiggaon) and Congress State President DK Sivakumar (Kanakapura) were leading in their respective seats.
Former chief minister Jagadish Shettar, who defected from the BJP after being denied the chance to contest the 224-member assembly polls on May 10, trailed by 2,614 votes in Hubally-Dharwad Central. There the Congress fielded him as a candidate.
JD(S) leader and another former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy was leading by 93 votes against BJP’s CP Yogeswara in Channapatna.
Sivakumar was leading his BJP rival state minister R Ashoka by around 6,000 votes.
“Please stick to issues important to people’s daily lives and don’t try to divide India,” said Congress leader Pawan Khera, a message to the BJP.
Former chief minister and senior BJP leader DV Sadananda Gowda said, “It is too early to comment on the final results. But it will definitely cross 113.”