Press Trust of india

BJP tops table in Karnataka

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Bengaluru, May 15: The BJP was likely to finish tentalisingly close to the halfway mark in the Karnataka Assembly elections today, if not score an outright victory, with its candidates winning 7 seats and leading in 102 others, officials said.

Congress candidates have won two seats and were ahead in 69, while the JD(S) was leading the table in 39 constituencies.

Regional outfit KPJP, Mayawati’s BSP and an independent candidate were ahead in one seat each.

A party has to secure 112 seats for a simple majority in the Assembly. Though Karnataka has a 224-member Lower House, polling was held for 222 seats. Polling was deferred for the RR Nagar seat on account of alleged electoral malpractices, it was countermanded in Jayanagar following the death of the BJP candidate.

Reflecting the plight of the Congress, chief minister Siddaramaiah was trailing in Chamundeshwari in Mysuru by over 33,000 votes against his JD(S) rival G T Deve Gowda.

In the see-saw battle in Badami in north Karnataka, Siddaramaiah was leading by over 1875 votes against BJP’s B Sreeramulu, a Lok Sabha MP and close associate of the controversial Reddy brothers.

B S Yeddyurappa, the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate, has established an unassailable lead of over 32,000 votes over his nearest Congress rival Goni Malatesha in his pocket borough Shikaripura, a seat he has won six times in the past.

Interestingly, the Congress at 38 per cent has polled 1.3 per cent more votes than the BJP’s 36.7 per cent.

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