Three hours into the Karnataka Assembly election vote counting, the BJP seems set to form a government on its own, with leads placing the saffron party above the 100-seat mark. Meanwhile, the Deve Gowda-led JD(S) has put up a better-than expected show leading in over 40 seats. The Congress tally, leads show, is hovering around 60-seat mark.
While it can be said that the Congress is down, it is premature to write off the party. The half-way mark in the 224-seat assembly is 113 and even if the BJP fails to bag the required seats, JD(S) will have a big role to play.
â€” The BJP made more gains in the SC/ST belt thanks to the show put up by leader B Sriramulu. Not only is he a powerful SC/ST leader, he is also a close aide of the Reddy brothers.
â€” Congressâ€™ move to grant minority status to Lingayats doesnâ€™t seem to have worked to its advantages as gains indicated the community remained with the BJP.
â€” JD(S) sprung a surprise with a better-than-expected show, crossing the 40-seat mark and also marking its name as a force to reckon with and a party too good to be ignored by the Congress. Meanwhile, JD(S) chief Deve Gowda said, "I can't comment on the basis on trends. I am not a fool. I will decide on an alliance after talking to all the MLAs."
â€” The Congress has already conceded defeat in the election. Karnataka Congress campaign committee head DK Shivakumar says party leaders are in talks with JD(S) chief HD Deve Gowda for a possible coalition government.
â€” Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is currently trailing in both of his constituencies. GT Deve Gowda of the JD(S) was leading the incumbent chief minister by over 11,400 votes in Chamundeshwari while the BJPâ€™s B Sreeramulu is leading by little more than 300 votes in Badami, according to Election Commission data by 10.00 am.
â€” If history is to be analysed, no party has won consecutive Assembly elections since 1985. The Congress has hinted that it may opt to remove Siddaramaiah as CM if it means a getting JD(S) on board to form an alliance.
â€” BJP leader chief minister candidate BS Yeddyurappa had earlier already declared a "date" for his oath ceremony, May 17-18, depending on Prime Ministerâ€™s Narendra Modiâ€™s plans.
â€” A loss raises big questions on the future of Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Despite an image makeover the 47-year-old has not been able to make a mark as political leader.
The Karnataka election verdict will now set up stage for upcoming Assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram.