Even as the BJP emerged as the single largest party in Karnataka, it fell 9 seats short of a majority where the Congress dramatically backed third-placed rival JD(S) for a post-poll alliance.
All eyes are now on Governor Vajubhai Vala who will have to decide whether to call BJP to try to form the government or go with the JD(S)-Congress combine, which together have a clear majority in the 224-member Assembly.
Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed the victory in Karnataka as extraordinary. Addressing party workers in New Delhi, PM Modi said, opposition tried to deceive people during the polls with lies but people have given them a befitting reply.
In his address, BJP president Amit Shah said, after independence, Congress party fought the Karnataka polls in the most unethical way.
PM Modi thanked the people of Karnataka and assured them that the BJP will leave no stone unturned in charting the development journey of the state.
In the interesting poll battle, what helped BJP inch closer to the magical figure was the strategy of party President Amit Shah and the effective booth-level management. BJP President Amit Shah said that the people have rejected the negative politics of the Congress.
Amit Shah assured that the development journey will continue and was hopeful of party’s prospects in 2019 of coming back to power.
The BJP has emerged as the single largest party in Karnataka but one thing is clear that they are readying themselves for the 2019 battle.
Elections were held for 222 seats on May 12 while polling for the remaining two will be held later. Both sides rushed to meet Vala, their vehicles slowly cutting through the throngs of party workers and supporters assembled outside the Raj Bhavan gates, and staked claim to power.
The BJP bagged 104 seats, a gain of 64 , while the Congress notched 78, a loss of 44 seats. The JD(S) secured 37 seats, down by three from its previous tally.
Since the Congress and JD(S) did not have a pre-poll alliance, it remains to be seen if the Governor invites Kumaraswamy to form the government. At least 10 ministers fell by the wayside as they lost their seats in an anti-incumbency wave. Siddaramaiah himself lost by a huge margin of 36,042 votes in his traditional constituency of Chamundeshwari in Mysuru to JD(S’) GT Deve Gowda. He, however, managed to scrape through in Badami in north Karnataka, where he won by a slender margin of 1,696 votes after a see-saw battle against BJP’s B Sriramulu.
Yeddyurappa won the Shikaripura seat by a margin of over 35,000 votes while Kumaraswamy won convincingly in both Channapatna and Ramanagara.