Assembly election results in Karnataka were announced on Wednesday, and while trends seem to be giving a decisive advantage to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the party may not be able to clinch an absolute majority on its own. In a three-way tussle between the BJP, Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular), the saffron party has started in pole position to clinch victory in Karnataka.
But with every vote being counted and the Congress and JD(S) keeping its flock together, it's the role of the Independent candidates and those from the minor political parties that will come into sharp focus. Two of them have already clinched victory. Here's a brief look at the two new MLAs who may decide who gets to head the next government in Karnataka.
R Shankar: R Shankar clinched an easy victory from the Ranibennur constituency in northern Karnataka. Shankar polled 63,910 votes, over 4,000 over the second-best candidate, Congress' Krishnappa Koliwad, who is also Speaker of the Assembly, who polled 59,572 votes. Shankar belongs to the Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party (KPJP), which came into prominence following the association of popular Kannada filmstar Upendra.
The KPJP was floated by Puthurina Muthu D Mahesh Gowda, but gained prominence following Upendra's association with it. However, in the run-up to the elections, Gowda and Upendra had differences, following which the latter quit the party.
Interestingly, five years ago, the battle in Ranibennur was again between the same two candidates. In 2013, Congress' Koliwad clinched win by defeating R Shankar, who was then an Independent candidate, by a margin of over 6,000 votes.
H Nagesh: In Mulbagal constituency near the Karnataka-Andhra Pradesh border, an Independent candidate H Nagesh stormed to a lead of over 8,000 votes. While counting is still in progress, Nagesh's major lead over Samruddhi Manjunath of JD(S) would mean he stands a good chance of ensuring victory.
Mulbagal was in the news in the run-up to the polls for having the largest number of candidates from a single constituency: 39. As reported by The Hindu, the Election Commission said it would use three ballot units of EVMs in Mulbagal because of the large number of candidates.
Updated Date: May 15, 2018 15:21 PM