The BJP today bagged 15 seats and was leading in 91 constituencies, as it appeared headed for a simple majority in the Karnataka Assembly, leaving the ruling Congress way behind, latest trends available showed.
With results and trends available for all 222 seats that went to polls, BJP maintained a steady momentum from the beginning, racing ahead of the Congress, which is set to suffer a reverse in its major bastion.
Reflecting the plight of the Congress, which has won three seats and leading in 70 segments, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was trailing in Chamundeshwari in Mysuru by over 33,000 votes against his JD(S) rival G T Deve Gowda, with the possibility of bridging the gap unlikely.
As the counting almost neared the end in the see-saw battle in Badami in north Karnataka, Siddaramaiah was leading by over 1,800 votes against BJP's B Sreeramulu, a Lok Sabha MP and close associate of the controversial Reddy brothers.
B S Yeddyurappa, the BJP's chief ministerial candidate, was ahead of his Congress rival Goni Malatesha by over 32,400 votes in Shikaripura in his home district of Shivamogga, which has sent him to the assembly six times.
JD(S) was ahead in 40 constituencies.
The BSP, KPJP and an Independent candidate were leading in one seat each.
The trends also indicated that the BJP's footprint spread across Karnataka, save the old Mysuru region, where the JD(S) with its solid Vokkaliga base was faring well.
Several ministers, including Ramanath Rai, Anjaneya, Umasri, T B Jayachandra, Revanna, Santosh Lad, Vinay Kulkarni, Sharanprakash Patil and A Manju were trailing behind their rivals.
Even as the trends were pouring in, it was celebration time for BJP workers who gathered in front of the state party headquarters here and elsewhere in the state, chanting slogans, blowing conch shells and breaking into a jig.
Yedyurappa's aide and Lok Sabha MP Shobha Karandlaje told reporters in Bengaluru that he would fly to New Delhi later in the day to finalise the date for his swearing-in after consulting the national leadership.
A party has to secure 112 seats for a simple majority in the Assembly. Though Karnataka has a 224-member Lower House, polling was held for 222 seats.
Polling for the R R Nagar seat was deferred on account of alleged electoral malpractices, while it was countermanded in Jayanagar following the death of the BJP candidate.
In the outgoing Assembly, the Congress had 122 seats, BJP and JD(S) 40 each, and smaller parties and independents 22.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)