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Karnataka Result : BJP Emerges Single Largest Party, Congress Woos JDS

Karnataka assembly election results 2018: Former Karnataka CM BS Yeddyurappa led BJP ousted the Siddaramaiah led Congress and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda led JD (S) in the 2018 state assembly polls. Polling was held in 222 constituencies of the 224-member Assembly as elections in two constituencies, Jayanagara and Rajrajeshwari were countermanded.

Congress has announced that it will support the JD(S) and according to media reports, it is also ready to offer the chief minister's post to seal the post-poll alliance. Outgoing Congress chief minister Siddaramaiah and senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad made it clear that this move has sanction from the high command.

This little detail is all important because in case there was a "pre-poll alliance", the governor would have been duty-bound to call the alliance partners to prove majority. However, since there was no such alliance when all parties went to the polls, the governor is duty-bound to call the single-largest party (SLP) for staking claim to form a government, and in this case, it is the BJP.

Therefore, going by the book, the BJP, if it manages to emerge as the SLP, it will have the right to be called first, and from that point, it will be a game of numbers because the BJP will try to factionalise the Congress and JD(S) MLAs and the alliance partners will try to keep their flock together. Get ready for resort politics.

After the dramatic development of the Congress and the JD(S) coming together, BJP’s chief Ministerial candidate B.S. Yeddyurappa told reporters in Bengaluru that the party will wait for the final results to be declared.

Meanwhile, Union Ministers J.P. Nadda, Dharmendra Pradhan and Prakash Javadekar are heading to Bengaluru today.

Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala has put all requests on hold and will not be meeting either JDS-Congress or the BJP till all the results are declared. 

As per the latest trends, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is leading in 104 seats, while the Congress is ahead in 77 seats. The Janata Dal (Secular) is at third place with 39 seats. The counting of votes for 222 of the 224 Assembly seats is being carried out across at 58,546 polling stations at nearly 38 counting centres.

The exit polls have predicted a hung assembly in Karnataka just like the opinion polls did. However, exit polls are divided on whether the Congress or the BJP will emerge as the single largest party while they say that the JDS will emerge as the kingmaker. But a majority of exit polls have predicted advantage BJP, with Today’s-Chanakya Times Now predicting a clear mandate for the party. On the other hand, the India Today-Axis My India exit poll has predicted a clear victory for the Congress.

Poll pundits have called it a wave-less election in Karnataka. However, both the Congress and the BJP have claimed that they will win the election and form the government in the state on their own. The JDS, meanwhile, according to reports has backed a Dalit face for the Chief Minister’s post if it wants the Congress to ally with it in case of a hung Assembly. While the Congress has pitched for Siddaramaiah, the man who is the first to have completed 5 years as CM in Karnataka, as its CM candidate, the BJP is rooting for former CM Yeddyurappa’s return.

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