Bengaluru, May 13 (Hydnow): The BJP lost its only bastion in the south today, with Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai conceding defeat shortly after noon as the Congress leads in the assembly election sailed past 120. Karnataka has not voted in the incumbent government for nearly 40 years.
The BJP defeat comes despite a high-pitched campaign led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who held 19 public meetings and six roadshows. The BJP’s union ministers and Chief Ministers had also pitched in but appeared unable to save the government of Mr. Bommai, which had been hit by massive corruption allegations over the last two years.
“In spite of a lot of efforts put in by the Prime Minister and the BJP workers, we have not been able to make the (majority) mark. Once the full results come, we will do a detailed analysis,” Mr Bommai told media. “We take this result in our stride to come back in Lok Sabha elections,” he added.
Mr. Bommai had earlier said that he was confident of a BJP victory. The Congress, he had claimed, was trying to reach out to other parties because it did not have confidence in its legislators.
The Congress, which had moved past the majority mark of 113 by mod-morning, looks set to exceed expectations. The party is currently leading in more than 130 seats — way over the 120 seats predicted by former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
The BJP is trailing way behind, with leads on 60-plus seats. HD Kumaraswamy’s Janata Dal Secular, which was expected to be a kingmaker when most exit polls predicted a hung assembly, is ahead on 20-plus seats.
The Karnataka results are likely to hit the BJP plans for next year’s national elections. The only southern state where the party has managed to make inroads sends 28 members to the Lok Sabha
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