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BJP crosses half-way mark in Karnataka, Congress concedes defeat (Third Lead)

IANS  |  Bengaluru 

The was on Tuesday set to return to power in its southern bastion as its candidates crossed the half-way mark in vote count, stunning and ousting the ruling and leaving the JD-S at the third spot.

Noisy celebrations broke out in party offices in Bengaluru, and across as nominees were on the victory lap in 118 of the 222 constituencies which voted on Saturday.

This was a dramatic jump from the 40 seats the won five years ago.

The Congress, desperate to retain power in the state amid shrinking appeal nationally, suffered major blows and was ahead only in 62 seats, with Minister trailing in both the constituencies he contested: Badami and Chamundeshwari.

The was way behind G.T Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal-Secular in Chamundeshwari, officials said. And after leading initially, fell behind B.R. Sriramulu of the in Badami.

In contrast, the BJP's face B.S. Yeddyurappa was ahead of his rival by more than 11,000 votes in Shikaripura.

and Congress said that the numbers indicated that his party was on the way out after five years in power.

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

The BJP was overjoyed. "We are in a jubilant mood because we have crossed the half-way mark. We are confident of winning," told IANS.

BJP activists and leaders celebrated noisily in both and New Delhi, waving party flags and shouting slogans hailing Narendra Modi, their main vote-getter, and

There were also celebrations outside the residence of Yeddyurappa, who has been Minister earlier too.

The Janata Dal-Secular of former 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 40 seats -- the same number it won five years ago.

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

BJP and said that there was no question of any alliance.

Prakash Javadekar, who is in charge of Karnataka, met BJP in

Analysts said the BJP was leading in Lingayat dominated seats and the JD-S in Vokkaliga dominated areas.

Expectations of a BJP victory in Karnataka lifted the key Indian equity indices during the mid-morning trade session on Tuesday.

According to market observers, broadly subdued Asian indices and disappointing macro-economic inflation data points released on Monday capped some gains.

Sector-wise, healthy buying was witnessed in banking, capital goods, metals, consumer durables and automobile stocks.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 35,993.53 points and a low of 35,498.83 points during the intra-day trade.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 15 2018. 11:30 IST