10:00 am: Congress Stages Protest Against Yeddyurappa's Swearing In
#UpdateVisuals from Bengaluru: Congress holds protest at Mahatma Gandhi's statue in Vidhan Soudha, against BS Yeddyurappa's swearing in as CM of #Karnataka. GN Azad, Ashok Gehlot, Mallikarjun Kharge, KC Venugopal and Siddaramaiah present. pic.twitter.com/asDWeGJTpD— ANI (@ANI) May 17, 2018
9:50 am: SC refuses to stay Yedyurappa's swearing-in, he takes oath as Karnataka chief minister
Congress-JD(S) alliance's last minute attempt to stall Yedyurappa's swearing-in by appealing to the Supreme Court late last night didn't work. Yedyurappa took oath as the chief minister of Karnataka minutes back.
Though the parties can challenge the governor's decision, they will have to wait and see if BJP is able to prove absolute majority in the floor of the house.
You can read all about what transpired between the SC and the Congress-JD(S) alliance here.
End of updates from 16 May
9:53 pm: It's Official, BS Yeddyurappa To Be Sworn In As Chief Minister Tomorrow Morning
After two days of drama, it looks like its finally over. A letter has been sent by the Karnataka governor to BS Yeddyurappa to form his government in Karnataka.
He has been given 15 days to prove majority.
Here's the letter:
9:20 pm: BJP Karnataka Announces Yeddyurappa's Swearing In, Then Deletes Tweet
The BJP announced few minutes ago that BS Yeddyurappa will be sworn in as Chief Minister of Karnataka at 9:30 am tomorrow, on Twitter only to delete the tweet later.
There was further indication that Yeddyurappa may become CM with Prakash Javadekar flashing a victory sign when asked if BJP had been given invitation to form government.
Bengaluru: BJP Karnataka in-charge Prakash Javadekar shows victory symbol on being asked if Governor has sent a letter inviting BJP to form government pic.twitter.com/Ti9boR1Hwj— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2018
6:10 pm: Not A Single Member Has Moved Out, Says Congress After Meeting Governor
A delegation from the JD(S)-Congress alliance met the Governor of Karnataka in the evening today, in hopefully what could bring an end to the drama that unfolded after a hung assembly in the state.
DK Shivakumar and HD Kumaraswamy told the media that the governor has promised to consider their plea to form government according to the Constitution.
We have submitted the necessary documents which show that we have the numbers required to form the government. He (Governor of Karnataka) promised he will consider according to the Constitution: HD Kumaraswamy after meeting Karnataka Governor #Karnataka pic.twitter.com/jLzTl4JF0W— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2018
Governor has assured that he will take action as per the Constitution. We have full faith in him that he will not do injustice. We have our numbers, not not even a single member has moved out. We will not allow any such thing to happen: DK Shivakumar, Congress #Karnataka pic.twitter.com/FjZVV8uFTc— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2018
Meanwhile PTI reported that the Congress has even considered approaching the Supreme Court if they are not allowed to form government in Karnataka.
Hindustan Times also quoted a senior Congress leader as saying, ""In case, the governor doesn't call us, we believe that it is a strong case to go to the Supreme Court."
3:23 pm: Seeking Appointment Of Governor Since 12:30, But No Response, Says Congress
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told the media today afternoon that the Congress has not been given an appointment with the governor despite several attempt to get one. He however said that the party had faith in the governor and hoped that he would ignore BJP's party politics.
"We sincerely feel that as governor and as head of state, he will not go by party politics, but by constitution of India": Congress' Ghulam Nabi Azad addresses media— NDTV (@ndtv) May 16, 2018
Track LIVE updates here: https://t.co/SdHxZwftqm#KarnatakaVerdict #KarnatakaElections2018 pic.twitter.com/PDFXwljjKQ
Meanwhile, sources told ANI that the Congress-JD(S) alliance may sit on a dharna in front of the Raj Bhavan tomorrow if they don't hear from the governor.
Since 12-12.30 pm we are seeking appointment with Governor so they can handover our two letters, 1 of legislator party of Congress another of legislator party of JD(S). We haven't received any message from Governor so far. We are waiting eagerly: Ghulma Nabi Azad, Congress pic.twitter.com/5V05wcqtfQ— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2018
2:50 pm: Signatures Of JD(S), Congress MLAs In Support Of Kumaraswamy To Be Submitted To Governor
Right after HD Kumaraswamy's press conference where he said he was confident that the Congress-JD(S) alliance will come to power, both the parties took signatures of its MLAs to present it to the Governor of Karnataka.
There were also news reports that suggested 12 Congress MLAs were missing from the party's legislative meeting that the Congress has now denied.
All the MLAs are intact. Some of the MLAs came late because they came in a special flight from Bidar: G Parameshwara, Congress on 12 Congress MLAs not present in the legislative meeting at Karnataka Party Congress Committee office in Bengaluru #KarnatakaElections2018 pic.twitter.com/yxq3jsWHfx— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2018
The Congress and JD(S) formed a post-poll alliance yesterday to keep the BJP out of power in Karnataka. Huffpost India Editor in Chief Aman Sethi and Politics Editor Betwa Sharma found out how Congress got the JD(S) and patriarch HD Deve Gowda to form the alliance. Here's the story:
12:45 pm: JD(S) MLAs are being offered Rs 100 crore each, alleges HD Kumaraswamy
Further drama is unfolding on the day after the results in Karnataka with accusations of horse trading against the BJP as both the BJP and the JD(S) Congress alliance try to prove their majority before the governor.
Kumaraswamy held a press conference where he told the media that JD(S) MLAs were being offered Rs 100 crore bribe to move over to the BJP. He also said he will never repeat the mistake of forming an alliance with the BJP again.
JD(S) MLAs are being offered Rs 100 crore each. Where is this black money coming from? They are supposedly the servers of poor people and they are offering money today. Where are the income tax officials?: HD Kumaraswamy, JD(S) #KarnatakaElections2018 pic.twitter.com/d157SS30E5— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2018
I have been offered from both sides. I am not saying this loosely. There's a black spot on my father's career because of my decision to go with the BJP in 2004 & 2005. So God has given me opportunity to remove this black spot. So I am going with Congress: HD Kuamaraswamy, JD(S) pic.twitter.com/4yFGlNEioZ— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2018
Kumaraswamy also threatened the BJP saying "If you take one from us, we will take double from you".
Forget 'Operation Kamal' being successful, there are people who are ready to leave BJP&come with us. If you try to poach one from ours, we'll do the same & take double from you. I'm also telling the Governor to not take any decision which encourages horse-trading: HD Kumaraswamy pic.twitter.com/Wo3mWygNWz— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2018
11:30 am: JD(S) Accuses BJP Of Horse Trading, 2 Missing MLAs Raises Further Suspicion
Even as the JD(S) met for a legislative party meeting in Bengaluru this morning and the BJP continued to reiterate that they have a more rightful claim, JD(S) leaders claimed that they have been getting phone calls from the BJP, but plan to remain loyal to their party.
I don't know what they (BJP) are offering but they are trying to call our people, but they are not responding. We are all together, no one can touch our party. Our party MLAs are loyal to the party: Saravana, JD(S) #KarnatakaElections2018 pic.twitter.com/3q0OAehwWq— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2018
Meanwhile, two missing JD(S) leaders in the Bengaluru party meet raised eye brows and suspicions of horse trading by the BJP.
JD(S)' MLAs Raja Venkatappa Nayaka and Venkata Rao Nadagouda are missing from the JD(S) legislative party meeting which is going on in a hotel in Bengaluru. #KarnatakaElections2018 pic.twitter.com/oRASjpqwjd— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2018
As #Karnataka's political scenario gets intensive, the state's #Congress Party leaders have alleged that the #BJP is trying to "poach" their MLAs in an attempt to establish majority to form the government.— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) May 16, 2018
Read @ANI story | https://t.co/UMovfBVmEV pic.twitter.com/M03sDDfQWk
The top brass of the JD(S), including chief ministerial hopeful HD Kumaraswamy said that are not going to change their mind about joining hands with the Congress.
We have already decided to go with Congress. That's the reason we called Janta Dal (Secular) Legislature Party meeting. There is no question of taking any other decision: HD Kumaraswamy, JD(S) #KarnatakaElections2018 pic.twitter.com/kxJbxcmiK1— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2018
The BJP has said that they will select the candidate for chief minister in their legislative party meeting and ask the governor time till tomorrow. The party also claimed that it was the mandate of the people of Karnataka for the BJP to be in power.
Prakash Javadekar told ANI, "People want BJP government and we will make it. Anyone can create unnatural tensions, but people of Karnataka are with us. After meeting, we will take necessary steps. This attempt made by Congress to make a backdoor entry is not appreciated."
Here's what Yeddyurappa had to say:
During the legislature party meeting the leader will be elected. From there we will go to Raj Bhavan immediately. We will claim to form the govt. Most probably we will ask the Governor to give us time tomorrow: BS Yeddyurappa, BJP #KarnatakaElections2018 pic.twitter.com/jYywOtFSG9— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2018
End of updates for May 15
7:26 pm: BJP Is Single Largest Party, Congress & JD(S) Form Alliance -- Key Updates From Counting Day
After a day of ups and downs for all the parties on counting day the final numbers stand at BJP with 104 seats, Congress winning 78 seats and JD(S) winning 37 seats.
As we bring our live blog to a close, here are the key takeaways from the day:
-- Early trends in the morning put the BJP at clear majority with leads in 112 seats. BJP leaders across the state said they were confident of crossing the half way mark. BJP's Sadananda Gowda told the media, "There is no question of alliance as we are already crossing 112 seats."
-- However, later in the day the BJP's numbers dropped giving it the position of the single largest party, but falling short of a clear majority. The JD(S) emerged the kingmaker in the assembly polls as experts had predicted. The JD(S) and Congress formed a post-poll alliance after both parties agreed that HD Kumaraswamy would become chief minister.
BJP's chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa however claimed that BJP deserved to be in power since it is the single largest party.
-- Leaders of the BJP and the Congress-JD(S) alliance met the Governor of Karnataka and sought to form the government. Now it is for the governor to decide who he will invite as the next chief minister of the state.
7:16 pm: BJP May Have Emerged As The Single Largest Party, But Congress Has A Greater Vote Share
At the end of a turbulent counting day, here's a look at the stats. BJP - 104; Congress - 78; JD(S) - 37. While BJP is way ahead of Congress in terms of seats, Congress has a slightly greater vote share than BJP. #KarnatakaVerdict #KarnatakaResults https://t.co/tBsrFYAUGH pic.twitter.com/dNuai9lF1K— HuffPost India (@HuffPostIndia) May 15, 2018
6:44 pm: PM Modi Congratulates 'Sisters And Brothers' of Karnataka
I thank my sisters and brothers of Karnataka for steadfastly supporting the BJP's development agenda and making BJP the single largest party in the state. I salute the stupendous work of @BJP4Karnataka Karyakartas who toiled round the clock and worked for the party.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 15, 2018
6:22 pm: Meanwhile, Much Needed Comic Relief Thanks To Kerala Tourism
5:30 pm: Here's What BJP Is Doing To Save The Day
The News Minutes Editor says that the BJP has asked the Karnataka governor to for a week to form government, which means that the BJP may try to poach MLAs from other parties.
So if the Governor agrees to BJP demand, the floor is then open for poaching. A BJP leader told me that they have begun talks with MLAs in Cong and JDS, wasn't willing to give names. #KarnatakaElections2018— Dhanya Rajendran (@dhanyarajendran) May 15, 2018
BS Yeddyurappa at the Raj Bhavan reports @prajwalmanipal. They will give letter to Governor before HD Kumaraswamy comes in for his appointment. I am at the Raj Bhavan and there is a huge crowd here. #KarnatakaElections2018 the— Dhanya Rajendran (@dhanyarajendran) May 15, 2018
5:01 pm: Congress At Governor's Home With Independent MLAs, Yeddyurappa Seeks Appointment
With the BJP failing to reach the half way mark, the three parties with the most votes are fighting for power in Karnataka.
BJP's BS Yeddyurappa is going to meet the Karnataka governor at 5 pm, while the Congress has brought along even the independent MLAs to show that even they are against the BJP forming government.
I'm here with our independent MLA. The independent MLA Mr Nagesh & others MLAs are with us. We have the numbers. We want a secular govt in Karnataka: DK Shivakumar, Congress #KarnatakaElection2018 pic.twitter.com/id60xaE62T— ANI (@ANI) May 15, 2018
4:28 pm: HD Kumaraswamy Seeks Appointment For Governor
The final numbers are yet to come, but reports suggest that HD Kumaraswamy has sought the appointment of the Karnataka governor to form government. Reports says that Congress has agreed to Kumaraswamy becoming the chief minister if they form an alliance.
JD(S)'s HD Kumaraswamy seeks appointment from the Governor of #Karnataka this evening, writes we have accepted Congress's support to form the Government. #KarnatakaElections2018 pic.twitter.com/epuCqf4m17— ANI (@ANI) May 15, 2018
4:16 pm: Siddaramaiah Resigns As Karnataka CM
4:15 pm: Despite being rejected Congress is trying to grab power, says BS Yeddyurappa
Amid talks of Congress and JD(S) trying to form an alliance in Karnataka, BJP's chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa lashed out at the Congress saying it was trying to grab power in Karnataka.
3:20 pm: Will Decide Future Plan After Final Results, Says BS Yedyurappa
After telling media persons in the morning that they were not looking for an alliance, BJP's chief ministerial candidate said that they will first wait for the final results and then make plans for the future.
3:14 pm: Ghulam Nabi Azad Says Congress And JD(S) To Meet Karnataka Governor Today
Even as the BJP leads reduced to 104, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad says that the JD(S) has accepted the Congress offer for an alliance in Karnataka, and they are going to approach the Karnataka governor today evening.
NDTV reports that they have agreed on HD Kumaraswamy as the chief minister.
Congress supporting JD(S) to keep BJP out of Karnataka.— Betwa Sharma (@betwasharma) May 15, 2018
Kiran Babu, a BJP worker, is still holding out hope. "The Congress and the JD(S) are different. Mysuru has rejected the Congress. The alliance won't happen." #KarnatakaVerdict @HuffPostIndia pic.twitter.com/PjhAc7Ey2d
3:10 pm: BJP Wins In Chikmagalur
Former minister and seasoned Congress politician BL Shankar loses in Chikmagalur to BJP's CT Ravi
2:40 pm: Yogi Adityanath Congratulates Karnataka Party Workers
2:24 pm: BJP Still In Lead Winning 39 Seats, Congress Wins 11
The BJP has now won 39 seats and is leading in 67 seats. The Congress has won 11 seats and leading in 63.
With the current numbers, it looks like the BJP is unlikely to win a clear majority.
Meanwhile the Congress has said it is open to alliance with the JD(S).
With the current numbers, a Congress, JD(S) alliance may beat the BJP in numbers, but the BJP will still be given the first chance to form government since it will still be the party with having won the most number of seats.
1:56 pm: Crucial Losses In These Constituencies Contributed To Congress Defeat
The Congress had won 122 seats in the 2013 assembly election, but this for now it is leading in only 74 seats. It has become likely that the BJP would form government in Karnataka, with the party leading in 106 of the 224 constituencies.
There are particular constituencies that contributed to Congress defeat. Read more on them here:
1:30 pm: BJP Wins Bellweather Shirahatti
BJP's Ramappa Sobeppa Lamani won in the Shirahatti constituency, beating Congress' Doddamani Ramakrishna Shidlingappa in Karnataka's bellweather constituency Shirahatti with a margin of over 30,000 votes.
Shirahatti has historically always picked the winning party. During the 2013 elections the Congress had won by a margin of 300 votes.
1:25 pm: BJP Now Leading In 106 Seats, Giving Hope To Congress And JD(S)
According to the Election Commission numers, the BJP has won 17 seats and is leading in 89 seats. This is less than the seats it was leading in earlier in the morning.
The Congress has won 3 seats and leading in 71.
The JD(S) is leading in 39 seats.
If the BJP's leads reduce further, the party is unlikely to pass the majority mark. This brings JD(S) back into the game.
Even though BJP will have the highest seats, it will not have majority, in which case it will need to have an alliance with another party. At the same time if Congress and JD(S) form an alliance it will be possible for them to beat the BJP in numbers.
1:10 pm: An Empty Congress Office As BJP Heads To Victory
12:54 pm: BJP Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore Thinks All Oppostion Parties Are 'Gandagi'
The BJP does want a Congress Mukt Bharat, but if Union Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore's words are to be believed, the BJP wants a country without an opposition party.
This is the third straight defeat of Rahul Gandhi since he became President. He declared himself the PM candidate. Now if all opposition wants to unite toh hamare liye bhi ye theek hai,ki desh ki jitni gandagi hai vo ek saath hate: Rajyavardhan Rathore, Union Minister #Karnataka pic.twitter.com/j0vHNL86FO— ANI (@ANI) May 15, 2018
12:48 pm: BJP Leader Ram Madhav Praises Sangh Parivar For Karnataka Win
BJP is certainly headed for victory, and BJP leader Ram Madhav says that much of the credit goes to the Sangh Parivar.
He told ANI:
The Sangha Parivar cadres have helped us enormously. In certain regions, like coastal Karnataka, Parivar has helped us a lot: Ram Madhav, BJP pic.twitter.com/qVbGqy3g55— ANI (@ANI) May 15, 2018
It must be noted that coastal Karnataka is the Hindutva heartland of the state. He also, of course, heaped praise on Amit Shah and Narendra Modi.
I would like to thank the people of Karnataka for this mandate. Also, credit goes to the hard work of PM Modi and Amit Shah ji, as well as state leadership,party workers and RSS cadre. BJP's southward march has begun: Ram Madhav,BJP #KarnatakaElections2018 pic.twitter.com/Hxw7eEoDPf— ANI (@ANI) May 15, 2018
12:44 pm: Toxic, Divisive Politics Of Congress Rejected, Says Nirmala Sitharaman
BJP leader Nirmala Sitharama took a dig at the Congress saying the toxic politics of the party had been rejected.
PTI quoted her as saying, "It is a historic day for the party and the win was an endorsement of Modi's development agenda. People have rejected divisive, toxic and negative politics of the Congress."
12:30 pm: BJP Wins 2 Seats, Leading In 111 Seats
The BJP has one two seats so far in Karnataka and now leading in 111 seats. The Congress is leading in 64 seats. However the Congress has retained more vote share than the BJP. The BJP vote share is 36.9% and the Congress vote share is at 37.9%
12:15 pm: India Should Worry About BJP's 'Congress Mukt Bharat Slogan', Says Party Spokesperson
During a debate on NDTV during the counting of poles, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said, "Not just Congress, but all of Bharat should worry about BJP's Congress Mukt Bharat slogan."
12:10 pm: Ravishankar Prasad Credits PM Modi For BJP's Performance In Karnataka
#BJPWinsKarnataka -- This win belongs to PM Modi's leadership. People of Karnataka have shown their faith in our hardwork: Union Minister @rsprasad. #ElectionsWithNews18 #LIVE: https://t.co/jaO1Loo1Dq pic.twitter.com/jGTZi8VTEl— News18 (@CNNnews18) May 15, 2018
12:04 pm: Celebrations Begin In BJP Party Headquarters In Delhi
12:01 pm: JD(S) Candidate HD Kumaraswamy Leading From Ramanagara
JD(S) president and HD Deve Gowda's son HD Kumaraswamy leading in Ramanagara as well as Channapatna constituency. The 58-year-old politician was Karnataka chief minister for a year and a half.
12:00 pm: Prakash Javadekar Takes A Dig At Congress
People of Karnataka want good governance, that is why they have chosen BJP. This is a big victory for the party. Congress is losing state after state & we are winning state after state: Prakash Javadekar, BJP Karnataka in-charge pic.twitter.com/ifgr278QRe— ANI (@ANI) May 15, 2018
11:50 am: Congress Leaders Know They Are Losing, But Won't Blame Rahul Gandhi
The Congress is losing to the BJP yet again, but local leaders refuse to blame it on Rahul Gandhi. Karnataka Congress Minister DV Shivkumar told ANI that the loss is not because of Rahul Gandhi.
Rahul Gandhi did his best, but it is we who have lost the elections. We, the local leadership, should have en-cashed it in a proper way & because of which we lost it: DK Shivkumar, Karnataka Minister on #KarnatakaElections2018 pic.twitter.com/mTUCbrfO0V— ANI (@ANI) May 15, 2018
11:50 am: Will Afzalpur Choose Congress Again?
While BJP's Malikayya Venkayya Guttedar was in a clear lead earlier in the morning in Afzalpur, he is now in a neck and neck battle with Congress candidate MY Patil. Guttedar is a six-time MLA from the Afzalpur constituency, but when he was with the Congress. Guttedar moved to BJP in April.
11:30 am: People Have Rejected Siddaramaiah, Says JD(S) Candidate GT Devegowda
People have rejected Siddaramaiah. He lost because of his attitude, because of attacking everyone & because of his loose talk: GT Devegowda, JD(S) candidate who is leading over Siddaramaiah in Chamundeshwari by 17000 votes. pic.twitter.com/6Sw82tiBgs— ANI (@ANI) May 15, 2018
11:15 am: Five Important Constituencies Show BJP Surging Ahead, Congress Trailing, JD(S) Steady
Early trends on Tuesday morning show the Bharatiya Janata Party making significant gains over the ruling Congress in Karnataka as the counting of votes began in the state assembly election. At 11 am, BJP was leading in 112 of the 224 constituencies where polls were held on 12 May. The Congress was leading in 57, and the Janata Dal (Secular) in 37 seats. The trends from five important constituencies are a big clue on how Karnataka has voted this assembly election. Read the entire story here.
11:10 am: BJP Workers Say They Are Winning Because Of Modi And Amit Shah
"Yes, we are winning today because of Modi and Amit Shah, but don't forget the BJP workers. We have worked very hard for victory," says Narayanan (L). #KaranatakaVerdict @HuffPostIndia pic.twitter.com/ib29k8kUCP— Betwa Sharma (@betwasharma) May 15, 2018
11:05 am: The BJP Is Now Leading In 112 Seats
The BJP is now leading in 112 seats in Karnataka, the half way mark, while the Congress trails behind leading in 57 seats.
10:56 am: Chhattisgarh CM Is Already Calling It A BJP Win
This is a historic win for BJP. I want to thank all the people of Karnataka for voting for us. Ab desh mein Congress khojo abhiyan chalega, kahaan rahegi pata nahi: Raman Singh, CM of Chhattisgarh. #KarnatakaElections2018 pic.twitter.com/Fc9tao6paN— ANI (@ANI) May 15, 2018
10:51 am: Congress Mukt Bharat Is Coming True, Says BJP Worker
As the BJP inches closer to winning a clear majority in Karnataka, it is all celebrations at the party office in Bengaluru. The promise PM Narendra Modi had made during the run up to the 2014 general elections is coming true -- India without the Congress.
10:40 am: BJP Is Now Leading In 102 Seats, Congress Trails Behind At 53
Looks like the BJP will manage to boot Congress out and will it's 21st state in India. Trends show that it is leading in 102 seats and the Congress is trailing behind with leads in only 53 seats. Sadananda Gowda is right, if the trends continue in this manner, the saffron party will not need an alliance.
10:25 am: It's Neck And Neck Between Congress And BJP In Badami
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who was trailing far behind BJP in Chamundeshwari is now giving BJP candidate B Sreeramalu tough competition in Badami. However, overall, the BJP is surging far ahead of the Congress.
10:07 am: We Are Crossing 112 Seats, Says BJP's Sadananda Gowda
Before counting day, the Congress and the BJP were both said to be in talks with the JD(S) in case of a hung assembly, predicted by exit polls. But like every time, early trends are proving the exit polls wrong and are tipped heavily in favour of the BJP. The party is already confident that it will come to power, pushing out Congress from yet another state.
10:00 am: Celebrations In BJP Office As Early Trends Are In Favour Of The Party
With the BJP surging ahead of the Congress in leads -- BJP 78, Congress 45, JD(S) 36 -- celebrations begun in the party office in Bengaluru.
9:52 am: Former Congress Leader Malikayya Venkayya Guttedar Who Joined BJP Leads In Afzalpur
It's good news from BJP from all corners. It's candidate Malikayya Venkayya Guttedar is leading from the Afzalpur constituency. While Guttedar had won the seat six times as a Congress candidate, he moved ovder to the BJP in April. Looks like the voters in Afzalpur care more about the candidate than the party.
9:45 am: BJP Leading in 61 Seats, Congress In 45, JD(S) In 25
The official Election Commission trends show that the BJP is way ahead of the Congress leading in 61 seats. Congress trails far behind with leads in 45 seats. JD(S) is leading in a solid 25 seats.
But while experts said that JD(S) may play kingmaker, if BJP's trends actually turn into wins, it may not be so.
9:25 am: CM Siddaramaiah Trails In Chamundeshwari
Incumbent Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is trailing far behind the JD(S) candidate in the Chamundeshwari constituency. BJP candidate S.R Gopalrao has lesser votes than Siddaramaiah. Are BJP's Congress Mukt Bharat dreams coming true?
9:20 am: 'Modi Ji Karega Desh Ka Upkaar, Congress Karega Sarvanash'
As the trends tip in favour of BJP, risking Congress losing one of its last strongholds in the country, A flower seller in Bengaluru tells Politics Editor Betwa Sharma that he is in support of the Prime Minister.
Ganesh Rao, a flower seller in Bengaluru, holds up a lotus bud while following early trends! He says, "Modi ji karega desh ka upkaar, Congress karega sarvanash." #KarnatakaVerdict @HuffPostIndia pic.twitter.com/w2fFh72ehx— Betwa Sharma (@betwasharma) May 15, 2018
9:10 am: BJP Is Leading In Shirahatti, Karnataka's Bellweather Constituency
According to Election Commission numbers, BJP is leading in Shirahatti. It's considered a bellwether constituency. In the last dozen elections (state and central), it has always voted for a candidate from the winning party. Since May 2013, it has been held by Congress MLA Ramakrishna Doddamani.
8:53 am: Official Election Commission Trends Show BJP Leading In 3 Seats, Congress In 1
8:45 am: Early Trends Show Its Going To Be Neck And Neck Between Congress And BJP
Here are the early trends from different news sources:
8:40 am: Do Or Die For Rahul, As BJP Seeks Congress Mukt Bharat
As news of early leads trickles in, Betwa Sharma has the story on the implications of Karnataka's results for the 2019 General Election. Read it here:
8:30 am: Early Trends In -- HD Kumaraswamy, BS Yedyurappa Leading In Their Constituencies
CNN News18 reports that HD Kumaraswamy is leading from Ramnagara where he is pitted against sitting BJP MLA CP Yogishwar and transport minister HM Revanna.
BJP's Sriramalu, who was seen praying a few minutes ago, is trailing from Badami while Siddaramaiah leads.
BS Yedyurappa is leading from Shikaripura
8:15 am: Will It Be Advantage BJP?
While the exit polls have predicted a hung assembly, IP Bajpai, in a blog on NDTV, writes that BJP may have an advantage over the Congress and JD(S).
Read the entire blog here.
8:00 am: Counting Of Votes Begins
Counting has begun across 38 centres in the state. ANI reports that postal ballots will be counted first. While leads on important seats will be seen soon, clear trends should be clear by mid-morning.
Counting of votes for #KarnatakaElections2018 begins, postal ballots to be counted first. Visuals from a strong room (where EVMs & postal ballots are kept) in #Kalaburagi's Afzalpur. pic.twitter.com/Pwyg6Cy01M— ANI (@ANI) May 15, 2018
7:49 am: Candidates Turn To Havans And Poojas Before Counting Starts
JDS's HD Kumaraswamy offers prayers at Adichunchanagiri Mahasamsthana Math in Nagamangala ahead of counting of votes for #KarnatakaElections2018 . Kumaraswamy is contesting from Ramanagara and Channapatna constituencies pic.twitter.com/3usqTFsRch— ANI (@ANI) May 15, 2018
7:35 am: BJP's Candidate B. Sriramalu Prays Before Counting Begins
7:30 am: HT's Cheat Sheet For Early Trends.
While we wait for the counting of votes to begin, he is an interesting cheat-sheet for reading the early trends by Roshan Kishore of Hindustan Times. Read it here.
7:25 am: Confident Yedyurappa Has Already Declared Date For Oath Taking Ceremony
The BJP has maintained in the last week that it is going to win the Karnataka Assembly Elections. But, BS Yedyurappa is so confident of his victory, he declared yesterday that he will take oath as chief minister on May 17.
7:10 am: Massive Security Cover Across Karnataka For Counting Day
A thick blanket of security has been put in place across Karnataka to ensure a free and fair counting of votes #KarnatakaElections2018— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) May 15, 2018
Read @ANI Story | https://t.co/TLV9uYCrJU pic.twitter.com/BvenEqUhIL
7:00 am: Counting Of Votes To Begin At 8 am
The counting of votes for the Karnataka Assembly polls is to begin at 8:00 am on Tuesday morning amidst tight security at 38 centres across the state. Of the 38 centres, five are in Bengaluru.
After a record voter turnout of more than 72% on May 12, most exit polls predict a hung assembly after a neck and neck race between the key contenders -- the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP.
Karnataka has a total of 224 assembly constituencies, which means the winning party will need to win 113 seats to form a government. The Janata Dal (Secular) is likely to emerge as kingmaker in the event of a hung assembly.
Reports suggest that both the Congress and the BJP are wooing the JD(S) for post poll alliances, while all three parties have claimed that they will win.
The Karnataka polls are crucial for both the Congress and the BJP. If the Congress wins, it would be the first time that a party would be re-elected in the state. In the years since Modi was elected to power, Congress has been unable to hold on to power in state polls. Since the BJP has come to power at the Centre, the Congress has lost Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Assam and Manipur to the BJP. It has now been reduced to ruling in only four states including Karnataka.
For the BJP, a win in Karnataka would further solidify its aim of a Congress-mukt Bharat (Congress free India). This would also mean that the BJP would keep up its winning streak in state elections, that will boost its image in the upcoming state elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh this year, and also the 2019 general elections.