Karnataka polls: Shivakumar ahead, minister R Ashoka trailing in Kanakapura
The Congress was leading on 117 seats with a vote share of 43%, according to the Election Commission of India (ECI) website at 11:03am
State Congress chief DK Shivakumar was leading against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and minister R Ashoka in Kanakapura, one of the keenly-watched constituencies, as the counting of around 38 million votes polled for the 224-member Karnataka assembly was underway on Saturday.
The Congress was leading on 117 seats with a vote share of 43%, according to the Election Commission of India (ECI) website at 11:03am. The BJP was ahead on 71 seats with a vote share of 36% and Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) on 28 seats (13.1% vote share).
Health minister K Sudhakar was trailing while Congress candidate Pradeep Eshwar Ayyer was leading in the Chikkaballapura constituency.
Another BJP minister Narayan Gowda K C was trailing behind JD(S) H T Manju and Congress’s B L Devaraja in Mandya in the Old Mysuru region.
BJP minister B Sriramulu was trailing while Congress candidate B Nagendra was leading in the Ballari (rural) constituency.
Minister JC Madhuswamy was trailing in Chikkanayanakahalli and his cabinet colleague Murugesh Nirani in Bilgi.
Congress’s Laxman Savadi was leading in the Athani constituency. Savadi, a former deputy chief minister, joined the Congress ahead of the polls after the BJP denied him a ticket.
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.