Lotus in full bloom in Karnataka — after decades of waiting

May 25th, 2008 - 3:00 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Bahujan Samaj Party

Bangalore, May 25 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) dream of being a ruler in southern India appeared certain Sunday, after decades of waiting and praying, with the Karnataka electorate giving it virtually a clear mandate. The BJP, for long considered a ‘north India party’ dominated by upper caste Brahmins and trading community, bagged over 80 of the 154 seats for which results were declared and led in another 35 constituencies.

If the voting trends in the 35 seats hold good, the party will cross the halfway mark of 112 and have a slender majority in the 224-member house.

The party, which finished as the single largest group with 79 seats in the 2004 assembly, has vastly bettered its performance. The Congress is set for a marginal improvement by bagging around 75 seats as against 65 in 2004.

The Janata Dal-Secular headed by former prime minister H. D. Deve Gowda will end up the biggest loser. It is expected to win in around 30 seats against 58 in 2004.

The Bahujan Samaj Party of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati and Samajwadi Party headed by her predecessor Mulayam Singh Yadav will come a cropper.

The Samajwadi Party suffered a huge setback as its state chief and former Karnataka chief minister lost to BJP’s chief ministerial candidate B.S. Yediyurappa in Shikaripura in Shimoga district, about 330 km from here.

The BSP, which contested 217 seats, is not winning even one, a repeat of the 2004 showing. It needs to be seen whether and in how many seats it affected the Congress.

In 2004, the BSP’s presence was said to be the reason for the defeat of Congress candidates in over 20 seats.

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