The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is heading for a landslide victory while the ruling Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) alliance face rout in Karnataka’s 28 Lok Sabha constituencies where vote count was underway on Thursday.
According to the latest trends available at noon, the BJP is leading in 23 seats, Congress in three, JD-S in one, and an Independent backed by the BJP is ahead in one.
The seats where BJP candidates are leading are — Bagalkot, Bangalore North, Bangalore South, Bellary (ST), Belgaum, Bidar, Bijapur (SC), Chikkaballapur, Chikkodi, Chitradurga (SC), Dakishna Kannada, Davangere, Dharwad, Gulbarga, Haveri, Kolar (SC), Koppal, Mysore, Raichur (ST), Shimoga, Tumkur, Udupi-Chikmaglur and Uttara Kannada.
The Congress is leading in Bangalore Central, Bangalore Rural and Chamarajanagar (SC) and the JD-S in Hassan.
Independent and South Indian multi-lingual film actress Sumalatha Ambareesh is leading in Mandya over JD-S contestant Nikhil Kumaraswamy, grandson of JD-S supremo H.D. Deve Gowda and son of Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy.
Of the 28 seats, the BJP contested in 27 and supported Ambareesh, while the Congress contested in 21 and the JD-S in seven, as part of their pre-poll seat-sharing arrangement.
In the 2014 general elections, the BJP won 17, Congress nine and JD-S two.
Prominent leading BJP candidates are Union Ministers D.V. Sadananada Gowda in Bangalore North and Ananth Kumar Hegde in Uttara Kannada, Prahlad Joshi in Dharwad, Shoba Karandlaje in Udupi-Chikmaglur and B.Y. Raghavendra in Shimoga.
Deve Gowda was trailing behind BJP’s G.S. Basavaraj in Tumkur. His other grandson – Prajwaj Revanna – is leading in the JD-S bastion Hassan against A. Manju of the Congress.
Congress leader in the outgoing Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge is also trailing behind BJP’s Umesh Jadav in Gulbarga (SC).