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BJP poised to be largest party in K'taka
May 25, 2008 11:55 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday appeared edging close to forming its first government in the south, but may fall short of getting a majority on its own by a few seats as counting of votes progressed in the Karnataka assembly elections.
With seven results going in its favour, the saffron party was placed ahead in 102 other seats out of the 218 constituencies for which trends were available after more than three hours of counting.
Congress has won two seats and was ahead in 68 seats as leads swung sharply after every round of counting in fiercely contested fights in almost all constituencies.
The Janata Dal-Secular led in 35 while independents and others were ahead in seven during counting of votes for 224 constituencies.
BJP leader Arun Jaitley conceded that the party may be "a little away" from the majority while his party colleague Ravi Shankar Prasad demanded that BJP should be called to form the government and there was no other question.
In the outgoing assembly, the BJP got 79 seats, INC 65 and JD-S 58.
BJP's Narasimha Naik bagged the Shorapur seat beating his nearest Congress rival Raja Venktappa Naik by 4,000 votes, while former minister B Sriramulu defeated Ramprasad of Congress in Bellary Rural (Reserved) by over 25,000 votes. In Sullia (SC), BJP's S Angara humbled Dr Raghu of Congress by over 5,300 votes.
BJP chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa is leading in Shikaripura by 14,355 votes. The Congress and JD-S did not field any candidate in the constituency in a bid to defeat Yeddyurappa.
Former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy of JD-S has established an unassailable lead of 34,158 votes against his rival political novice Mamata Nichhani of Congress.
Former chief minister of Congress N Dharam Singh and KPCC Ppesident M Mallikarjun Kharge were among the others who maintained comfortable leads over their respective rivals.
BJP MP Ambareesh (Srirangapatna), former deputy chief minister M P Prakash of Congress (Harappanahalli), R V Deshpande, who is looking for a seventh win from Haliyal are the prominent candidates who are trailing.