The fortunes of the two major political parties in fray see-sawed throughout the day on Tuesday as Karnataka headed towards a hung Assembly.
The BJP eventually emerged the single-largest party with 104 seats, but fell short of getting a simple majority (112 seats). With a tally of 78, the Congress fared badly in comparison to its 2013 figure of 122 seats.
The performance of the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), which bagged 38 seats, was more or less flat.
As counting began, the fortunes of parties kept vacillating and fast. At one point, BJP workers began celebrating, after it seemed that the party was fast approaching the majority mark. But to their disappointment, the party’s tally dipped post lunch.
Sensing a hung Assembly, the Congress quickly capitalised on the situation, with its high-command rushing senior leaders to Karnataka. On their arrival in Bengaluru, the Congress brass announced that the party would support the JD(S) to form the next government.
The saffron party has performed well in four of the six regions in Karnataka.
Accusing the Congress of divisive politics, the BJP campaigned in Hyderabad-Karnataka, Mumbai-Karnataka and Central Karnataka regions in support of Lingayat unity, and highlighting the failures of the Congress government.
The BJP has won 62 of the 111 seats in the segment. The Congress has come a poor second, winning just 42 seats compared to 2013 elections, when it had notched up 69 seats.
The BJP has swept the coastal districts by a huge margin, bagging 20 seats out of 24 seats, relying heavily on Hindutva as its political agenda. The Congress won just four seats here.
In Bengaluru, it was a mixed bag for the Congress and the BJP where they won 15 and 11 seats respectively, while the JD(S) increased its tally to four.
The Old Mysore region witnessed a total domination of the JD(S), which won 29 of the 57 seats. The Congress came second with just 16 seats. The saffron party has gained entry into this region after many years by winning 11 seats, compared with just two seats in 2013.