Karnataka polls: Madhuswamy, Sriramalu among ministers trailing
The Congress was leading on 82 seats with a vote share of 44.4%, according to the Election Commission of India (ECI) website at 9:44am
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ministers JC Madhuswamy, B Sriramalu, Murugesh Nirani and Ramesh Jarkiholi were trailing as the counting of around 38 million votes polled for the 224-member Karnataka assembly was underway on Saturday.
The Congress was leading on 82 seats with a vote share of 44.4%, according to the Election Commission of India (ECI) website at 9:44am. The BJP was ahead on 52 seats with a vote share of 37.4% and Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) on 16 seats (10.5% vote share).
Chief minister Basavaraj Bommai looked set to retain his Shiggaon assembly seat while JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy was leading in the Channapatna constituency.
Bommai, who offered prayers at a temple in Hubballi, insisted the BJP will get an absolute majority and provide a stable government and all-inclusive development .
Congress leader Syed Naseer Hussain said there will be a clear mandate for the Congress. “I am expecting a landslide victory for the party.”
The BJP hoped to retain power in the only southern state it has ruled since 2019 even as exit polls suggested Congress has an edge following the polling on Wednesday when Karnataka recorded its the highest voter turnout ever. The state has voted out the incumbent over last three decades.
Two of the three states Congress rules on its own are due to go to the polls this year. If it wins Karnataka, it will be its biggest assembly election victory since December 2018 even as it returned to power in Himachal Pradesh last year.