Counting of votes began on Tuesday in Karnataka’s 222 assembly constituencies amid tight security.

The Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) were the main contenders among other national, regional and fringe parties in the May 12 elections.

In all, 2,622 candidates, including 217 women contested for the seats, which had 36 reserved for Scheduled Castes and 15 for the Scheduled Tribes.

Election in Bengaluru’s Raja Rajeshwari (RR) Nagar was postponed to 28 May due to seizure of voter ID cards and countermanded in the city’s Jayanagar seat due to the death of BJP candidate and MLA BN Vijaya Kumar on 4 May. Vote counting in RR Nagar will be taken up on 31 May.

8.22 pm: Rahul Gandhi tweeted to thank party workers and voters.

6.32 pm: PM Narendra Modi takes to Twitter to thank party workers, supporters and voters.

6 pm: JD(S) and Congress leaders, including Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah, addresses the media outside the Raj Bhavan after staking claim to form the government. Siddaramaiah said they have extended unconditional support to JD(S). Both JD(S) and Congress submitted MLAs’ letters of support to the governor.

5.18 pm: BS Yeddyurappa leaves for a meeting with the Governor. Says he is “100 per cent confident” of forming government.

5.05 pm: Tejashwai Yadav recalls how his party was not called by the Governor in Bihar in spite of having the mandate. “Let’s see what happens in Karnataka,” he wrote on Twitter.

 

4.30 pm: HD Kumaraswamy, the CM candidate for the JD(S), wrote a letter to the Governor seeking an appointment and clearly stating that he has accepted Congress’ offer of support to form a government.

4.18 pm: Siddaramaiah’s son Yathindra has defeated BJP’s T Basavaraju by a huge margin of 58,616 votes. The seat was vacated by Siddaramaiah in favour of his son.

4.05 pm: Yeddyurappa holds press conference thanking the people of the state for making BJP the single-largest party.

“In their verdict, the people have ousted the Congress led by Siddaramaiah. the anti-incumbency was so strong that Siddaramaiah was himself defeated miserably in Chamundeshwari,” said Yeddyurappa.

“I thank the people of Karnataka for supporting the BJP. I thank all my party workers dues to whom we emerged as the single largest party,” he added.

When asked for his reaction to Congress’ strategic move towards JD(S), the 75-year-old Lingayat strongman said, “I will discuss with our top leadership and will take final decision. I will be in touch with Amit Shah.”

4.00 pm: Siddaramaiah enters the residence of Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala to submit his resignation.

3.34 pm: Siddaramaiah loses from Chamundeshwari seat. JD(S) leader GT Deve Gowda defeats the Karnataka CM by a margin on 36,042 votes.

But the 69-year-old Congress leader defeats B Sriramulu of BJP in Badami by a very thin margin of 1,696 votes.

3.31 pm: The BJP is leading in 36 seats and has won 68. The Congress has 40 seats in its bag and is leading on 36. JD(S) is clearly the kingmaker with 16 seats already in the bag and 23 more on which it is ahead.

3.27 pm: National Conference leader Omar Abdullah reacts to criticism of Congress approaching JD(S) to form the government in Karnataka in spite of BJP emerging as the single largest party.

 

3.20 pm:  Top BJP leaders are meeting at Amit Shah’s residence to discuss the future course of action. BJP national president Amit Shah has reportedly directed Prakash Javdekar, Dharmendra Pradhan and JP Nadda to rush to Bengaluru to explore options of forming the next government in Karnataka.

3.17 pm: In a major turn of events, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said he was going to meet Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala at 4 pm today. It is being said the Congress has reached an understanding with the JD(S) and it is going to stake claim to form the government.

Congress declares support to JD(S), Siddaramaiah to meet the Governor at 4 pm

3.06 pm: “So far result is not final. We will shortly know the exact figures then we will work out the future plan. I don’t want to discuss about JD(S) and the Congress,” said BS Yeddyurappa.

2.42 pm: Congress says it is ready to offer the CM’s seat to JD(S). Sonia Gandhi has spoken to JD(S) chief HD Deve Gowda.

2.34 pm: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray challenges BJP to contest an election with ballot papers and not with EVMs.

“Just one time, I want BJP to head into elections with ballot papers & not EVMs. All the apprehensions will go away,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.

The Congress, too, has raised questions on the EVMs – a machine that is hugely unpopular with opposition parties who allege that they can be rigged in favour of the

2.24 pm: The Congress and the JD(S) have a total of 113 seats between them – exactly the majority required to form a government. The BJP, on the other hand, is leading in 69 and has won 37 – a total of 106 seats.

2.10 pm: BJP is leading in 69 seats and has won 36. The Congress has won 8 and are leading in 67. The JD(S) has won 3 and are leading in 36.

1.53 pm: BS Yeddyurappa wins from Shikaripura constituency in Shivamogga district. This is the seventh time he has won from this seat. He got 86,983 votes. Second placed Goni Maltesh of the Congress got 51,586 votes.

 

Yeddyurappa
(Photo: IANS)

 

1.46 pm: Home Minister Rajnath Singh congratulates BS Yeddyurappa on the “stupendous win” in the state election.

 


1.39 pm: BJP has won 17 seats and is leading in 89 more bringing the total to 106. The Congress has won four and is leading in 70. The JD(S), which is leading in 38, has scored a victory on one seat. The KPJP won the only seat it was leading in.

1.35 pm: KG Bopaiah retains his seat in Virajpet, one of the two constituencies in Kodagu district. This constituency has always voted for the BJP since 1994 except on one occasion in 1999 when the Congress won the seat.

1.11 pm: A lighter note on the deeper side of things.

 

Election cartoon
(Illustration by: Prince Dhanta/SNS)

 

12.58 pm: The BJP is leading in 104 seats and has won five. The Congress has scored a win on one seat and is ahead in 69 while the JD(S) is leading on 39 seats.

12.51 pm: BJP national general secretary, Ram Madhav takes a dig at Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

“In Karnataka, TDP n Chandrababu Naidu have used all tactics to dissuade Telugu voters from supporting BJP. But in Hyderabad Karnataka where most Telugus live, BJP has increased its tally from 6 to 20+. People have rejected CBN’s politics. Our Southward March has begun,” he tweeted.

 


The BJP and Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) were allies before parting ways over the issue of the alleged non-fulfilment of the promises by the Centre to the state. The departure of the TDP from NDA had left the BJP without a foothold in the south.

12.42 pm: Here are a few tweets from BJP, its leaders and allies as the saffron party appeared to lead the elections.

 

 

 

 

12.37 pm: The vote share of the Congress is more than that of the BJP’s.

 

Partywise votes share in Karnataka
(Photo: Screenshot/official website of Election Commission)

 

12.20 pm: The BJP registers the first victories in the elections. The party has won Mudigere and Sullia seats and is leading in another 111.

12.16 pm: The BJP is leading in most of the seats in key constituencies which have been in focus due to the profile of the contestants, its geographic or electoral size, or for its connection to Tipu Sultan.

Karnataka poll results | Current status in 25 key constituencies

12.10 pm: As the clock goes past noon, the BJP is back on the 112 mark. The Congress was leading in 66 seats and the JD(S) was ahead in 40.

Earlier, Karnataka minister DK Shivkumar conceded defeat but said that Rahul Gandhi did his best.

“Rahul Gandhi did his best, but we, the local leadership, should have en-cashed it in a proper way & because of which we lost it,” he told ANI.

11.40 am: The Congress has gained a few more seats and is currently leading on 65. The BJP’s lead has come down to 110. The JD(S) is now leading in 38 seats.

11.23 am: Though Siddaramaiah is not faring well in Chamundeshwari, his son Yathindra is leading with 30,543 votes, as per EC, in Varuna. This is the constituency from where Siddaramaiah was elected twice before he chose to vacate it in favour of his son in this election.

(Photo: Screenshot/official website of Election Commission)

 

11.19 am: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that Congress could have had a better chance had it aligned with the JD(S).

“Congratulations to the winners of the Karnataka elections. For those who lost, fight back. If Congress had gone into an alliance with the JD(S), the result would have been different. Very different,” she wrote.

 

11.00 am: BJP is leading on 112 seats, Congress on 57 and JD(S) on 37. While the BJP got around 37.7 per cent of the cotes the Congress got around 37.3 per cent.

10.55 am: Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh says that the verdict will now trigger a Congress khojo abhiyan (Find the Congress) referring to BJP’s lead across Karnataka.

“This is a historic win for BJP. I want to thank all the people of Karnataka for voting for us. Ab desh mein Congress khojo abhiyan chalega, kahaan rahegi pata nahi,” he told ANI.

10.45 am: The BJP is trailing in one of the two constituencies in Kodagu – its stronghold since 1994. The region has a brutal history that dates back to the 18th century Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan.

Read More: Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018 | The vote of Tipu Sultan

In Virajpet, one of the two constituencies in Kodagu district, the JD(S) candidate Sanketh Poovaiah M is leading. The sitting MLA is BJP’s KG Bopaiah. In Madikeri, the other constituency in the district, the BJP is leading.

The BJP has held the two constituencies since 1994, except on one occasion in 1999 when it lost both to Congress.

10.41 am: EC data reveals that BJP is leading in 103 seats, Congress in 54 and JD(S) in 37. BSP, KPJP and an Independent candidate are leading in one seat each.

10.33 am:  This is the current status of the CM candidates. Those under the head ‘Strength’ had a stronger chance of winning the seat due to election mathematics and voter numbers.

 

(Photo: SNS)

Karnataka results will give a clear insight into the future of BJP and the Congress.

Read More: All set for the battle for Nava Karnataka

10.20 am: Status of key contestants:

B Sriramulu of BJP is leading in Molakalmuru but is trailing in Badami, where he is up against the 69-year-old Siddaramaiah.

G Somashekara Reddy is leading in Ballari City. His brother G Karunakara Reddy is ahead in Harapanahalli. Both are contesting on BJP ticket.

BJP’s KS Eshwarappa, the leader of the Opposition, is leading in Shimoga.

KPCC chief and former deputy CM G Parameshwara is leading in Karatagere.

HD Kumaraswamy is trailing in Channapatna.

10.17 am: BJP currently leading in 90 seats. Congress is on 51 and JD(S) on 35.

10.13 am: GT Deve Gowda, the sitting MLA from JD(S) in Chamundeshwari, is ahead of CM Siddaramaiah by over 11,000 votes.

10.10 am: In Bengaluru, BJP workers seen celebrating as the leads showed the party ahead in at least four regions.

9.51 am: BJP is leading in 67 seats, Congress in 42 and JD(S) in 30 seats. BSP, KPJP, and Independent were leading in one seat each.

9.43 am: BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia expressed confidence in his party’s victory. “We will win with a majority,” said Bhatia.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Ashok Gehlot said that the grand old party is open to an alliance with the JD(S) but is at the same time confident of winning the Karnataka Assembly election.

9.35 am: The BJP is leading in most seats in Coastal Karnataka and Central Karnataka. It has a lead in Bombay Karnataka and Hyderabad Karnataka regions. The Congress and the JD(S) are in a fight in Southern Karnataka and Bengaluru Region.

9.17 am: The BJP is leading in 24 seats as per EC data. Counting in 43 seats are on. Congress was leading in 13 and JD(S) was ahead in six.

9.07 am: Official Election Commission data shows BJP leading in 10 seats of the 20 whose status is known. The Congress was leading in six and the JD(S) on four.

9.05 am: HD Kumaraswamy, the CM candidate from JD(S), is leading in Ramanagaram, one of the two constituencies he is contesting from.

This constituency with 2,05,031 voters and is known for the silk used in the Mysore silk.

9.00 am: BJP’s CM candidate BS Yeddyurappa was seen offering prayers at a temple earlier today. Yeddyurappa, a Lingayat, is leading in Shikaripura in Shivamogga district. He has been a six-time MLA from the constituency since 1983. The 75-year-old is a former CM.

8.50 am: Current trends were so far based on postal ballots.

Postal ballot is a system through which service voters are able to cast their votes by posting the same to officials electronically. Service officials included members of the armed forces. The 2018 elections in Karnataka had 28,000 service voters and six NRI voters.

8.35 am: BS Yeddyurappa leading in Shikaripura;  Siddaramaiah leading in Badami but trailing in Chamundeshwari; BJP heavyweight B Sriramulu is trailing in Badami.

8.00 am: “Vote counting began at 8 am at 38 centres in 30 districts where 72.36 per cent of the 5.07 crore electorate polled across the state on Saturday, the Election Commission official told IANS here.

Votes polled in 26 of the 28 Bengaluru’s urban and rural segments are being counted at four centres across the city.

“The poll panel has deployed 16,662 personnel to count votes in each segment and declare the result after the process is completed,” noted the official.