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Live: Vote count begins in Karnataka

Votes polled in 26 of the 28 Bengaluru’s urban and rural segments are being counted at four centres across the city

Police personnel stand guard outside a counting centre after the Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018 in Bengaluru on Monday.

Bengaluru: Counting of votes began on Tuesday in Karnataka’s 222 assembly constituencies amid tight security at about 8am, an official said.

Gulf News tracks the developements that occur at the polls (all times UAE).

8.45am

CM Siddaramaiah trailing by over 12,00 votes

8.43am

BJP gains ground

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dramatically surged ahead towards the victory mark in the Karnataka Assembly election on Tuesday, leaving the ruling Congress badly bruised and the Janata Dal-Secular at the third spot, officials said.

Reports from counting centres across the southern state showed that BJP candidates were on the winning track in 105 constituencies while the Congress was in the lead in 70. A total of 222 constituencies voted on Saturday.

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly.

JDS, which has been expected to play the role of a kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly, was leading in 43 seats.

As the vote count progressed, BJP leaders became assertive, saying they were confident of taking power again in their only southern bastion. At the same time, Congress leaders began to speak about the possibility of an alliance with the JD-S.

BJP leader and Union Minister Sadanand Gowda said that there was no question of any alliance with the JD-S as his party was headed towards a clear majority.

Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who is in charge of Karnataka, met BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi.

Analysts said the BJP was leading in Lingayat dominated seats and the JD-S in Vokkaliga dominated areas. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was leading in Badami constituency and trailing in Chamundeshwari. 

The BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate, B.S. Yeddyurappa, was on the victory lap in Shikaripura.

“We will win with a majority,” said BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia.

The Congress was open to an alliance with the JD-S, party leader Ashok Gehlot said, as the party’s top leaders met in New Delhi.

 

8.30am

Official Election Commission trends 

 

 

8.29am

Talking alliances

In a virtual admission that the Congress may fall short of a majority in Karnataka, party leader Mallikarjun Kharge said on Tuesday that an alliance with the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) was possible.

“We will discuss the issue with the high command. I am going to meet Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ashok Gehlot and we will discuss,” Kharge said.

But he quickly added that it was too early to predict the outcome of Saturday’s Assembly election. Vote count on Tuesday showed the BJP ahead of the ruling Congress with the JD-S at the third spot.

 

8am

BJP is in the lead

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was ahead of the ruling Congress on Tuesday as officials counted the millions of votes polled in the Karnataka Assembly election, leaving the  Janata Dal-Secular(JD-S) far behind, officials said.

Determined to make a comeback in its only southern bastion, the  BJP was leading in 98 seats and the Congress in 91 of the 222 constituencies that went to the polls on Saturday.

 JD-S, of former Prime Minister H.D. Dewe Gowda, which has been expected to play the role of a kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly, was leading in 26 seats, reports from counting centres from across the state said.

Analysts said the BJP was leading in Lingayat dominated seats and the JD-S in Vokkaliga-dominated areas. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was leading in Badami constituency and the BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate B.S. Yeddyurappa in Shikaripura.

Any party or grouping will have to have 113 seats to form a government.

6.30am

Counting of votes begin

Counting of votes began on Tuesday in Karnataka’s 222 assembly constituencies amid tight security, an official said.

“Vote counting began at 8am at 38 centres in 30 districts where 72.36 per cent of the 5.07 crore [50.7 million] electorate polled across the state on Saturday, the Election Commission official said.

Votes polled in 26 of the 28 Bengaluru’s urban and rural segments are being counted at four centres across the city.

“The poll panel has deployed 16,662 personnel to count votes in each segment and declare the result after the process is completed,” noted the official.

The Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) were the main contenders among other national, regional and fringe parties in the May 12 elections.

In all, 2,622 candidates, including 217 women contested for the seats, which had 36 reserved for Scheduled Castes and 15 for the Scheduled Tribes.

Election in Bengaluru’s Raja Rajeshwari (RR) Nagar was postponed to May 28 due to seizure of voter ID cards and countermanded in the city’s Jayanagar seat due to the death of BJP candidate and MLA B.N. Vijaya Kumar on May 4. Vote counting in RR Nagar will be taken up on May 31.

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