The BJP lost its only bastion in the south on May 13, with Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai conceding defeat with the Congress bagging 136 seats, the BJP 64 and JD(S) just 20 seats.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai told reporters: “In spite of a lot of efforts put in by the Prime Minister and the BJP workers, we have not been able to make the mark. Once the full results come we will do a detailed analysis… We take this result in our stride to come back in Lok Sabha elections.”
The Congress asked all its MLAs to reach Bengaluru as leads placed it across the halfway mark. Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said he is sure of the party crossing the 120 mark.
Congress leader DK Shivakumar broke down as counting leads indicated a big victory for his party in Karnataka. Mr Shivakumar said he had “promised to Sonia Gandhi I will deliver Karnataka”.
“I assured Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge that I will deliver Karnataka. I can’t forget Sonia Gandhi coming to meet me in jail,” Mr Shivakumar, 61, told reporters. The Karnataka Congress chief, who is a contender for the Chief Minister’s job, said: “The Congress office is our temple. We will decide our next step at the Congress office.”
He added: “I thank all leaders in my state including Siddaramaiah.”
Siddaramaiah, 75, is his main rival in the race for the chief minister’s post.
In a major setback to Janata Dal (Secular), the regional party in Karnataka lost chief HD Kumaraswamy’s bastion on Saturday. Kumaraswamy frayed his son Nikhil Kumaraswamy from Ramanagara (Ramanagaram) constituency in the 2023 state assembly elections against Congress leader Iqbal Hussain. However, Nikhil Kumaraswamy has failed to retain the family’s bastion as Congress became the top choice for Karnataka in the 2023 assembly polls.