Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers across Karnataka on Tuesday celebrated as trends showed the saffron party was set to form a government in the state. Counting of votes for the May 12 Karnataka Assembly elections began this morning at 38 centres in the state. However, the Congress headquarters in Bengaluru, bore a deserted look, as the party found itself lagging in all regions of the state.
Sweets and delicacies were distributed among boisterous party workers and supporters who gathered at the state BJP headquarters here and its offices across Karnataka, including those in Kalaburagi, Hubbali-Dharwad, Mangaluru and Shivamogga. In a roller-coaster ride for BJP, it initially appeared that the party was set to return to power after a five-year hiatus with a resounding majority. But as all the trends started to pour in, it appeared the party will fall a few seats short of the 112 needed to form the government.
The swift political manoeuvring by Congress in reaching out to JD(S) showed that it had learnt its lesson after the debacle in Manipur and Goa where it failed to form the government despite being the single largest party because of BJP’s clever moves.
The Karnataka Assembly election results threw up an unexpected suspense today, as a simple majority tantalisingly eluded BJP and the Congress quickly proclaimed support to third-placed JD(S) to keep the saffron party out of power. Hundreds of BJP activists celebrated on Tuesday across Karnataka as the BJP appeared set to dethrone the Congress in the state. The celebrations, however, were stopped when Congress announced support to the JD(S) and the latter reciprocated.
Karnataka was the only major non-BJP ruled state, and the party offices had reverberated with jubilation in the morning when initial trends put it ahead. All eyes are now on Governor Vajubhai Vala who will have to decide whether to call BJP, the single largest winner of seats, to try to form the government or go with the JD(S)-Congress combine, which together have a clear majority in the 224-member Assembly.