Congress triumphs in Karnataka Assembly elections, BJP suffers humiliating defeat

Karnataka pollsCongress party workers celebrate their victory in Karnataka Assembly elections, in Bangalore. (PTI)

Congress today stormed back to power in the Karnataka Assembly elections in spectacular fashion after seven years in its old southern bastion decimating the ruling BJP whose fate was sealed by a fractious split and corruption charges.

In good tidings for a party battered by a series of scams at the national stage, Congress put up an impressive show in the polls bagging 121 seats, eight more than the half-way mark in a House of 224, obviating the need for support from other parties and belying predictions. Polls were held for 223 seats with one countermanded after a BJP candidate died.

BJP, which was wrecked by a split forced by former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on top of a series of corruption cases, tied for the second place with JD(S) with both securing 40 seats each.

The Congress victory immediately triggered a chief ministerial race involving OBC leader Siddaramaiah and Dalit leader and Central Minister Mallikarjun Kharge.

Other leaders like M Veerappa Moily, a former chief minister, cannot also be ruled out, analysts say.

The shock defeat of KPCC chief G Parameshwara virtually eliminated him from the race for chief ministership.

The Yeddyurappa-led Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP), which spoiled BJP's party, could not do much for itself as it bagged only six seats.

The BSR-Congress, led by former BJP Minister Sriramulu, considered close to the Bellary brothers, also chipped away BJP votes and ended up with four seats.

The rout of BJP, whose rule saw ugly in-fighting, three chief ministers and several ministers tainted by corruption charges, was complete as it was clobbered by the electorate which pushed it to a pathetic position of sharing the second place with JDS of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda.

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