BJP has taken early leads in the counting of votes for the crucial Karnataka assembly elections as the early trends gave the saffron party leads in 80 seats but Congress was not far behind as it also established lead in 72 seats out of the 222 seats in which polling was held on may 12.
The JD(S) led by former Prime Minster H D Deve Gowda was leading in 26 seats. According to early trends, the BJP was ahead in Mumbai Karnataka and Hyderabad Karnataka regions while in coastal region the Congress position was better.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was trailing by about 3000 votes in Chamundeshwari and the initial reports for him did not appear good from his second constituency in Badami in North Karnataka as well.
Counting of votes for the battle of Karnataka began amidst tight security arrangements throughout the state at 0800 hrs. In the highest ever polling, about 72.36 per cent of the over five crore electorate cast their franchise on May 12 to elect 222 members from 2622 candidates to the 15th Karnataka Assembly. The saffron party is also doing well in Bengaluru region, initial trends showed.
While Congress had fielded 220 candidates, the BJP had 222 candidates, while the JD(S) which had allied with Bahujan Samaj Party was in the fry in 191 constituencies. BSP has fielded 18 candidates.
As many as 182 members of the outgoing 14th Assembly are seeking re-election. Among the contestants there were 119 women. Elections were countermanded in Jayanagar and deferred to May 28 in Rajarajeshwari Nagar, both in the city.