Karnataka Election results Live: Jagadish Shettar resigns

7.55 pm: Jagadish Shettar resigns as chief minister

Karnataka's chief minister put in his resignation today, after the BJP was decimated in the elections.

He had met the governor to put in his resignation.

6.34 pm: Jagadish Shettar meets Governor to put in papers

After facing defeat against the Congress in the elections, Jagadish Shettar is now meeting the Karnataka governor to put in his papers and formally resign.

Shettar was the 21st chief minister of the state. He was sworn in on 12 July 2012.

5.35 pm: SP man spoils Deve Gowda's celebrations

Bangalore, May 8 (IANS) The Samajwadi Party (SP) Wednesday became the unlikely spoiler of celebration in JD-S president H.D. Deve Gowda's family by defeating his daughter-in-law in Karnataka.

Anita Kumaraswamy, wife of Gowda's son and former Janata Dal-Secular chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, lost to C.P. Yogeshwara in Channapatna, about 60 km from here.

Yogeshwara, who was a forest minister in the BJP government, quit the post and the party hoping for a Congress ticket but hopped on to SP when this was denied to him.

He defeated Anita by 6,404 votes. He polled 80,039 votes against 73,635 of Anita.

Kumaraswamy and Gowda's other son H.D. Revanna, however, won from Ramanagaram, in neighbouring Channaptna, and Holenarsipur in Gowda's home district Hassan.

Anita's defeat came as a shock to Kumaraswamy the most, apart from Gowda, as he had shifted his wife from Madhugiri in Tumkur district, from where she had won in a by-election, to Channapatna to ensure her victory.

Yogeshwar is a controversial figure - he is battling charges of cheating people by promising apartments or sites.

He was elected as a Congress candidate to the assembly in 2008 from Channapatna, switched over to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) only to lose the seat in a by-election.

He quit the BJP hoping for a Congress ticket this time but joined the SP bandwagon when this was denied to him.

The SP in Karnataka remains a one-man party and makes news when leaders from other parties join it at the time of election.

The only other leader who won on SP ticket from Karnataka was former chief minister S. Bangarappa, who was also a Congressman and was also in the BJP for some time.

He was elected on a BJP ticket from Shimoga in the 2004 Lok Sabha election, resigned from the party and Lok Sabha membership in 2005 and won the 2005 by-election on SP ticket.

He later quit SP and joined Congress. He has since passed away.

IANS

4.54 pm: BJP will recover from defeat, says Shettar

Jagadish Shettar says that the BJP will definitely recover from defeat. "There are ups and downs in politics, we will definately recover," he said.

Holding Yeddyurappa's departure from BJP as a reason for defeat, he said "There were many factors responsible for our defeat and Yeddyurappa's departure is one."

However Shettar refused to comment on whether the BJP would invite Yeddyurappa back into the party.

3. 35 pm: Final tally in, Congress wins 121 seats

The final tally of the Karnataka Assembly polls has finally come in, while the BJP and JDS are tied for second place with 40 seats each. BS Yeddyurappa's KJP has only managed 6 seats and its safe to say that he is not going to be a kingmaker like he hoped he would be.

Below are the results:

Congress - 121

BJP - 40

JDS - 40

KJP - 6

Others - 16

3 . 30 pm:  Former CM Kumaraswamy wins by more than 25,000 votes

Former chief minister of Karnataka HD Kumaraswamy has won from Ramanagaram constituency with a margin of more than 25,000 votes.

Speaking to the media earlier, the JDS leader said his party would not be a part of the government and they would sit in Opposition.

3. 05 pm: BJP deputy CM Eshwarappa loses

Deputy Chief Minister and former BJP state unit President KS Eshwarappa loses in Shimoga, finishes third.

Meanwhile, the final results of the elections are just about complete. We should be able to give you the final tally in a few minutes.

2.34 pm: Congress headed for victory in 120 seats

The Congress majority is assured and all that remains to be seen is how large that majority is. And with confirmed victory in 115 seats and leads in another 5 seats, the party looks set to control a massive 120 seats in the legislative assembly.

More interestingly, in terms of competition at least, the JDS and the BJP are tied with 38 confirmed wins and 2 additional leads each.

If the BJP does indeed win in 40 seats, it will be interesting to see if former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa keeps his word of 'doing whatever the BJP wants him to do'. Meanwhile several Yeddyurappa loyalists who parted ways with BJP and joined the KJP-Shobha Karandlaje, CM Udasi and Renukacharya have lost.

2.08 pm: Ashwani Kumar congratulates Congress, but he may be on his way out

Law Minister Ashwani Kumar has congratulated the Congress party on its strong win in Karnataka, saying that the party that supported corruption has lost.

His comments come even as CNN-IBN is saying that Party President Sonia Gandhi wants Kumar to resign once the Supreme Court verdict on Coalgate is delivered. The channel says the Party President is not keen for either Kumar or Bansal to continue if the party image is hit.

However a final decision will be taken once the Supreme Court verdict is delivered.

1.36 pm: PM credits Rahul for Karnataka win

Surprising no one, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has attributed the resounding Congress victory in Karnataka to Vice President Rahul Gandhi.

"He (Rahul) took a leading role in the campaigning and worked hard. I congratulate the Congress workers of Karnataka", read a tweet from the Prime Minister's official PMO handle. The statement was followed by a comment from Digvijay Singh who said, "No one knows Narendra Modi outside Gujarat. It has been proved again by Karnataka".

Well Rahul Gandhi has some reason to smile finally. However Trust Congress leaders to trumpet Karnataka as a great personal victory for Rahul, and a defeat for Narendra Modi. Well, with tougher elections round the corner, they better exercise restraint warns Firstpost editor Akshaya Mishra. Electoral battles in India have ceased being about personalities.

Meanwhile the latest numbers show the Congress has won in 107 seats and is leading in another 14.

1.19 pm: Happy with Congress victory in Karnataka, says Sonia Gandhi

Congress President Sonia Gandhi has said that she is happy with the Congress victory in Karnataka. Meanwhile Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said, "Karnataka win is a defeat of BJP's ideology".

And ironically the Congress President has said that legislators will decide who will be Chief Minister, while the party leaders in the state stoically stand by their statement that the 'Congress leadership will decide'.

Either way, no one is telling.

1.09 pm: Secularism has won, Hindutva defeated says actress Ramya

Kannada actress turned politician Ramya has called the Karnataka election result a defeat for Hindutva. "Hindutva is defeated."Modi campaigns haven't worked, people chose secularism", she said.

12.53 pm: BJP has suffered innings defeat, says Kamal Nath

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath who must be glad that the washed out budget session is finally over, called the Congress party's resounding win in Karnataka an "innings defeat for the BJP".

"The match is over, BJP has had an innings defeat, now they'll blame the match, the ball and the pitch", he said.

Meanwhile Janardhan Dwivedhi called the victory a loss for the policies of the opposition and proof that their ideology and views are not accepted by the public. "It is the win of the policies of Congress and a loss for our opposition's policies", he said.

12.42 pm: We will introspect and come back stronger, says Rajiv Prathap Rudy

BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy who admitted that the party was 'decimated' in the Karnataka state assembly polls, said that the party would introspect and come back stronger than ever. "Karnataka is a local issue, but it does not take us off track. What happened in Karnataka was bad politics by the party but we will be back", said Rudy in an interview with CNN-IBN.

The BJP leader also refused to get drawn into a discussion about whether the party wanted to reconnect with former Karnataka Chief Minister Yeddyurappa saying that all next steps would be taken by the party high command. "We know what we have to do. Expect many surprises from the BJP", he said.

12.34 pm: Message from Karnataka to all parties is that voters are looking at us closely, says Chidu

Finance Minister P Chidambaram said that there was no specific message from Karnataka to the centre, and the message if at all, was to all political parties. "The Karnataka results show that the people are watching us very closely. A government that does not perform and deliver will be removed, and the Karnataka government was one such government", he said.

Meanwhile BJP leader Jaswant Singh who was next to Chidambaram declined to comment on the politics of personalities saying, "Reality is what we are seeing on the ground. I don't want to speak about personalities".

"He will give a gentleman's answer", quipped Chidambaram, adding "Even Modi won't say he was a factor".

12.21 pm: Yeddyurappa sweeps Shikaripura constituency 

KJP leader and former BJP Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa has decimated the BJP  in Shikaripura constituency by 20,000 votes.

His party has not performed as well however, with the KJP looking set to win no more than eight seats in total. Meanwhile the Congress has confirmed victory in 53 seats and looks set to win a further 62.

12.08 pm: Congress leader Siddaramaiah wins from Varuna

Congress leader Siddaramaiah has won from the constituency of Varuna. Siddaramaiah is one of many Congress probables who is likely to be Chief Minister. The party has still not given out any indication of who is likely to head the government. All we are certain of now, is that Congress will not have to seek the support of any other party to form the government.

It is a decisive victory for Congress, the people have given us the mandate, said Congress leader Narayanasamy.

According to Firstpost editor Anant Rangaswami, "The absolute majority that the Congress seems to have won is an opportunity to govern without the baggage of coalition partners. If they can, miraculously, demonstrate positive change in Karnataka in the months leading up to the Lok Sabha elections, they can spin the performance into saying that the can run a corruption-free government if they get a clear mandate. Will they bite the bullet – or is corruption in their DNA? We’ll have to wait and watch."

11.54 am: We knew we would lose Karnataka, says BJP's Rajiv Prathap Rudy

Rajiv Prathap Rudy of the BJP has said that although the party was disappointed by its performance in Karnataka, the results come as no surprise. "Karnataka is a loss, we are upset about it but we knew it would happen", he said.

Rudy also rather cryptically defended BJP leader Narendra Modi and his inability to swing votes for the party in the state, saying, "When does any political party say that their leader has a magic wand? What is wrong if a leader has a magic wand?"

So did the Narandra Modi magic fail in Karnataka? The first question first: can one leader make a difference to the prospects of a party? The answer is a clear no, says Firstpost editor Akshaya Mishra. He says:

No Modi, no Rahul or anybody can help change anything if the party is structurally and organizationally weak.

All that hype over Modi on social media was just that, hype. Lesson from Karnataka: parties must shift focus to building organizational muscle rather than banking on charisma of individuals.

Watching the faux intellect amply on display on television channel discussions on Karnataka polls, one is inclined to accept that the ordinary voters of India are far more intelligent and mature than those so called experts.

The experts would still have us believe, despite evidence to the contrary, that electoral battles in the country are about personalities. They would make any election a Narendra Modi vs Rahul Gandhi affair. They would have us believe that elections are more about clever social engineering than the public perception of the credibility of parties and governments.

The general assumption among the talking heads is people are fools, who would vote for money and on identity affiliations. It’s time someone asked them why governments change so often in the country, why caste coalitions fail to deliver repeat success and why big leaders bite the dust. The intellectuals have not stopped analysing elections beyond set paradigms. Someone needs to grow up. I am sure it’s not the ordinary voters.

11.44 am: Cong wins 32 seats, leading in 84 others - heading for clear majority

The Congress is heading to a clear majority, with confirmed victories in 32 seats and leads in 84 others. Together that will give the Congress 116 seats, which means that it will be able to form the government on its own. The JDS is in second place with 4 confirmed seats and leads in 37 seats. The BJP has won in five constituencies and is leading in 33.

11.24 am: Marching bands and crackers outside Cong HQ in Delhi

The Congress badly needed reasons to celebrate - what with the brouhaha over Law Minister Ashwani Kumar meddling with a CBI affidavit and Railway Minister Pawan Bansal's nephew caught in the act of accepting a massive bribe. So now that the Karnataka results show a win for the party means that party workers are celebrating.

Footage from outside the Congress HQ in Delhi showed dancing party workers bursting crackers, while a marching band trumpeted.

At last count the party had victories in 20 seats, with leads in 97 seats. The JDS was in second place with leads in 39 seats, marginally ahead of the BJP which was leading in 37 seats.

11.11 am: JDS blames media for pushing voters towards Congress in Karnataka

JDS leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has said that the media was responsible for pushing voters towards the Congress.

Speaking to CNN-IBN, Kumaraswami said that the JDS had been written off by the media who had kept saying it would get around 10-12 seats. "Despite the fact that we got no support from anyone we will still win over 40 seats", he said. He added that the party would continue to fight the Congress and expose corruption.

However he ruled out supporting the BJP.

According to the latest results by ETV Kannada, the party was leading in 42 seats, in second place behind the Congress.

11.00 am: 11 seats for Congress, 2 for BJP

The latest results as shown by ETV Kannada, confirm victory in 11 seats for the Congress party and 2 seats for the BJP. One seat has been won by 'others'. No confirmed victories for the JDS yet, but leads put it well ahead of the BJP. The JDS is showing leads in 44 seats, while the BJP is leading in 38 seats.

You can read Firstpost editor R Jagannathan's first cut analysis here.

10.45 am:  BJP pines for Yeddy as trends show them coming third

BJP leader Lehar Singh Siroya has said that the BJP cadre on the ground is desperate for the return of former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa. Siroya who was treasurer when Yeddyurappa was Chief Minister said that he would like the former Chief Minister to be brought back to the party with dignity.

"Yeddyurappa was not only a Lingayat leader, he also led the party in Karnataka. Ever since he left, the BJP were performing badly", he said, adding that senior party leaders 'who were close to God' were to blame for his exit and the BJP's subsequent defeat.

His comments come even as trends show the party trailing in third place with leads in just 40 seats, behind the JDS which is leading in 46 seats.

All this brings up the vital topic of whether the BJP have settled the Yeddyurappa question earlier. As the results reveal, the answer is yes, says Firstpost editor Akshaya Mishra. "He has caused big damage to the party in the Mumbai Karnataka region. Any decision either way – to continue with him or discard him – should have come much earlier. It would have allowed the party time to regroup and revive."

10.44 am: Karnataka proves that local and regional issues still matter

It’s hard to miss the disconnect between the political developments at the centre and the election results in states.

The Congress fighting serious corruption and misgovernance charges at the Centre over the last three years has won in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and now possibly Karnataka. Its vote share has improved in Punjab, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.

This is not to draw any grand conclusion but to highlight that people weigh issues differently for different elections. Local and regional factors still matter more for people at local and regional elections than what happens at the national level. The communication revolution can wait.

What Karnataka needs after five chaotic years of the BJP rule is good governance. The sub-40 seat tally of the BJP sends out the clear message from the voters: perform or perish. It’s the responsibility of the Congress to ensure that the once progressive state is back on the development track. With all that intra-party factionalism and ego battles will it deliver? Fingers are crossed.

10.33 am: Congress falling short of clear majority a failure of the party?

It is now almost certain that the Congress will fall well short of a majority and according to political pundits this is a failure of the party. "Whether Congress wins or not, the fact that that they could not get a clear majority even with a BJP Chief Minister going to jail, is a failure on the part of the party", said Editor-in-chief of CNN-IBN, Rajdeep Sardesai.

State Congress leader Mallikarjuna Kharge, who is in the running for the post of Chief Minister, also admitted that the party did not do as well as it hoped.

Meanwhile Firstpost editor Akshaya Mishra says that the impressive performance of the JD(S) indicates that smaller regional parties are not withering away anytime soon. "The current political equation in the state would mostly likely hold good for the national elections in 2014. Regional parties would decide how the politics shapes up in the country. For all the noise about the Congress vs BJP, they actually take each other head on in only 116 of the 543 parliamentary seats", he said.

Either way, the results show that both major parties have some valuable lessons to learn.

10.28 am: BJP will also lose in 2014, says Kapil Sibal

With the results indicating a resounding victory for the Congress party, its exultant leaders are now coming out to crow over the opposition.

Minister of telecommunications Kapil Sibal said, "Looks like the BJP will meet the same fate in the general elections. They will remain in third place in the general elections as well."

Meanwhile Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Manish Tewari said, "The people of Karnataka have voted. If you really look back, over the manner in which parliament has been disrupted in the last fornight it is very evident that the entire charade was orchestrated for the Karnataka elections".

10.10 am: Shakuntala Shetty records first Cong win in Puttur

The first win has come in for the Congress, with Shakuntala Shetty defeating the BJP candidate in Puttur. Meanwhile leads for the party have fallen to 101. The battle for second place is now in favour of the JDS with 47 leads, while the BJP is leading in 44 seats.

Trends are out in all 223 seats and two things now look certain.

* Congress will form the next government
* Congress will however fall short of a clear majority

Meanwhile state BJP leader and former Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda has said that he was very surprised by the poor performance of the party. It looks as though former Chief Minister Yeddyurappa could still well be a kingmaker, even as the Congress looks like it will not be able to garner a clear majority. Here, Firstpost blogger Shining Path explains why we should not write Yeddyurappa off yet.

10.03 am: Trends indicate that Congress will fall short of clear majority

With leads in for all but 3 constituencies in Karnataka, it looks likely that the Congress will not be able to garner a clear majority.

According to ETV Kannada, The party was leading in 104 seats, with the BJP and JDS neck and neck at 45. KJP could still well be a kingmaker with 11 seats, but more intruiging are the results from the 'others' which show leads in 16 seats.

After poor shows in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, Rahul Gandhi has some reason to smile finally. Trust Congress leaders to trumpet Karnataka as a great personal victory for Rahul, and a defeat for Narendra Modi. Well, with tougher elections round the corner, they better exercise restraint warns Firstpost editor Akshaya Mishra. Electoral battles in India have ceased being about personalities.

9.57 am: Rahul is right - one man on a horse won't change the world

Did the Narandra Modi magic fail in Karnataka? The first question first: can one leader make a difference to the prospects of a party? The answer is a clear no, says Firstpost editor Akshaya Mishra. No Modi, no Rahul or anybody can help change anything if the party is structurally and organizationally weak.

All that hype over Modi on social media was just that, hype. Lesson from Karnataka: parties must shift focus to building organizational muscle rather than banking on charisma of individuals.

9.46 am: Congress inching close to 112 mark

The Congress leads are inching closer to that all important halfway mark of 112, with ETV Kannada results showing the party ahead in 107 seats. No clear second spot as yet, with the BJP and JDS battling it out with leads in 42 and 41 seats respectively.

Meanwhile Firstpost editor Anant Rangaswami notes that there seems to be precious little interest in the poll results on social media. "There’s less interest in the Karnataka elections on twitter than in a normal IPL match. Is it because the exit polls all suggested that there would be no battle, and that the BJP was a non-starter?", he asks.

9.36 am: Did BJP lose because of corruption?

Did corruption bring the BJP government down in Karnataka? It’s difficult to agree with that proposition says Firstpost editor Akshaya Mishra. The defeat has more to do with the dependence of the party on the charisma of a single individual and lack of a broad social coalition to fall back on. The party will need to build from scratch if it does not get Yeddy back into the fold. Revival is going to be a long haul for the BJP.

Meanwhile the BJP criticisms have started coming in. Ram Jethmalani who was suspended from the party has said that the BJP made a big mistake in leaving out former Chief Minister Yeddyurappa, and said that the BJP were always 'scoring self goals'.

BJP leader Sadananand Gowda who was also the state Chief Minister for a while has dismissed the 'fluctuating media trends' however and told CNN-IBN that he was confident that the party would still win 70-80 seats.

The Congress was leading in 103 seats at last count, with BJP leading in 42 seats, JDS leading in 41 seats, KJP leading in 9 and the others leading in 15.

It looks increasingly likely that the independent candidates may well have a crucial role to play in the formation of the next government. According to Firstpost editor R Jagannathan, "Cong looks likely to fall short of majority by 3-5 seats. Independents have lots of money to make in the process".

But a word of warning for the Congress: Firstpost editor Akshaya Mishra says,  "In India, the exercise of voting follows an interesting logic. The electorate, if unhappy with the performance of the government, votes to throw incumbent parties out. Voting is an act of punishment. It does not necessarily mean widespread approval of the party being voted in. The Congress should take note."

9.26am: Congress leading in 100 seats, heading for decisive victory

Local television channels are showing celebrations outside Congress party offices, with crackers, and dancing as the party inches towards leads in 100 seats

ETV Kannada has shown that the Congress is now leading in 100 seats, indicating that the party is heading for a decisive victory. The BJP and JDS are stil battling it out for second place, with the BJP  inching ahead in the latest trend count. The party was showing leads in 42 seats, with the JDS right on their tail with leads in 40 seats.

For his part, Yeddyurappa's KJP has 10 seats.

If non-performance and poor governance are the reasons why the BJP is on its way out in Karnataka however, the Congress should not be celebrating its victory in the state says Firstpost editor Akshaya Mishra. It should be worried, really worried, about its fate in 2014. Voters are losing patience with non-functioning governments.

9.08 am: With Congress way ahead, battle is for second place

The Congress is pulling way ahead of their opposition, showing leads in 81 seats, leaving the real battle for that of second place. ETV Kannada shows the JDS is showing leads in 31 seats, while the BJP is ahead in 28 seats. The vote share trends so far show that the Yeddyurappa factor has clearly defeated the BJP.

9.00 am: Congress leading in over 50 seats, BJP in clear third

ETV Kannada is now showing Congress ahead in 53 seats, with the JDS also seeming to consolidate its lead over the BJP. The latest tally showed JDS with 22 seats, with the BJP with 17, and KJP trailing with just 5 seats. Significantly, the Congress is also leading in traditional Lingayat seats. This is almost certainly a fallout of BS Yeddyurappa splitting from the BJP which seems to have benefitted the Congress.

8.46 am: Congress now ahead in 33 seats, JDS ahead of BJP

Congress now shows leads in more seats than all the other parties put together, with the latest figures showing the party ahead in 33 seats, while the other parties together have 32 seats according to ETV Kannada. In second place is JDS with 13 seats while the BJP is showing leads in 10 seats.

Results are now out in 65 of the 223 constituencies where polling took place.

With the results trickling in, there is already speculation over who the Congress Chief Minister will be.

8.39 am: Congress leading in 20 seats, BJP, JDS locked in battle for second place

The Congress is now showing leads in 20 seats says ETV Kannada, well ahead of the BJP and JDS which are locked in a tie for a distant second place, with leads in 9 seats each. The KJP is in third place with leads in two seats.

8.33 am: Congress appears to be consolidating its lead

The latest results indicate that Congress is pulling ahead, showing leads in 11 seats, with the BJP and JDS trailing in seconds place with 4 seats each. Yeddyurappa's KJP is once again trailing, with leads in just 2 seats. So far anyway, the results seem to be in line with pre poll surveys which not only put the Congress ahead and saw the BJP and JDS in a close fight for second place.

8.25 am: Congress inch ahead as results come in thick and fast

The EVM results are coming in thick and fast now, and leads are changing almost every minute. However Congress is inching ahead of the opposition, showing leads in five seats. The BJP and JDS are right beging with three seats apiece, and former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa's KJP is finally off the mark, showing leads in two seats.

Results are only out in 14 seats, but election pundits are already talking about a split assembly. If this is indeed the case, this will be a hat-trick of fractured mandates for the South Indian state.

8.19 am: Early trends put Congress ahead in 3 seats, Yeddy trailing

Early leads are trickling in now, and results indicate that the Congress is ahead in 3 constituencies. The BJP so far however, is not too far behind with leads in 2 seats, while the JDS is showing a lead in one seat. Nothing yet for former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa's KJP. Remember he had said after polling, that he not only said that he would win, but that he would win with an absolute majority.

8.13 am: First early trend out - BJP ahead in Mumbai Karnataka

The first lead is out and it puts the BJP ahead in Mumbai Karnataka. This is the same region that the BJP did really well in recent local body elections. However results also indicate that Congress is ahead in 2 constituencies.

8.02 am: Counting of votes begins in Karnataka

Counting of votes has begun in Karnataka, with early trends likely to emerge very shortly.

Since electronic voting machines (EVMs) were used for polling, most of the results should be out by noon, say state election authorities.

7.41 am: Karnataka election result out today, Pre polls put Cong ahead

All eyes are on Karnataka today, with counting for Sunday's poll set to begin shortly. Over 71 percent of the 40.36 million eligible voters cast their ballots Sunday and counting will begin in 36 centres across the state.

The estimated seat tally in Karnataka

The estimated seat tally in Karnataka

Polling took place in 223 of the 224 elected seats in the 225-member assembly that includes one member nominated to represent the Anglo-Indian community.

In the Periayapatna constituency in Mysore, polling has been rescheduled for the end of the month, following the death of the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate.

The latest pre-poll survey by the Delhi-based Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) for CNN-IBN says that it is highly likely that the increasingly unpopular BJP government will be ousted.

Of the 224 assembly seats in the state, the survey gives Congress a likely 117-129 seats, which is easily over the halfway mark. In the previous assembly the party had 80 members. The JD(S) is likely to bag anywhere between 34 and 44 seats, marginally up from 28 in 2008. The biggest loser is the BJP with its projected seat tally down from 110 to anywhere between 39 and 49.

Other political players in Karnataka don’t gain much from the BJP loss however. The survey gives them around 12-22 seats, numbers that are still crucial if there’s a hung house.

The Congress is also upbeat about its prospects of returning to power on its own in Karnataka after six years in opposition.

“We will form the government on our own,” assert state Congress chief G. Parameshwara and his party colleague Siddaramaiah, both chief ministerial aspirants.

However the BJP is not accepting, at least in public yet, that it is all over for the party in view of corruption scandals and infighting which forced three chief ministers on the state in just over four years of BJP rule.

Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and state BJP chief Pralhad Joshi claim the party has been able to overcome the impact of corruption scandals that marred the first three years of its rule under BS Yeddyurappa, who was forced to quit in July 2011 over mining bribery charges.

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