Politics

Worried For Democracy After Seeing Violence In West Bengal, Says PM Modi

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi (Arijit Sen/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Stay tuned for live updates and insights on the results for elections to Karnataka assembly.

09.00 pm

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah addressed BJP cadre at the party’s headquarters in New Delhi. In his speech, the Prime Minister made touched upon three things.

First, he expressed grief at the loss of lives in the collapse of a flyover in his Lok Sabha constituency, Varanasi.

Second, he stated that the BJP’s victory in Karnataka was extraordinary since it came in the face of a narrative that the party is only a party of the Hindi-speaking belt.

Third, he expressed grave concern in the outbreak of violence in West Bengal yesterday. West Bengal saw voting for panchayats on Monday, and there were multiple and gruesome reports of booth capturing, and of attacks on opponents of the ruling Trinamool Congress, and on media.

Before the Prime Minister, it was BJP President Amit Shah who made his speech. In his address, he congratulated the people of Karnataka for rejecting the regime of the Congress. If that statement offers any indication of intent, the BJP seems in no mood to allow the Congress a backdoor entry into government in Karnataka.

06.50 pm
Randeep Surjewala, briefing the media on behalf of the Congress, put forth the case on behalf of the Congress and JD(S) post-poll alliance. Quoting from recent speeches of senior BJP leader, Arun Jaitley, Surjewala tried to make argument that there was nothing wrong with Congress and JD(S) making a bid for power in Karnataka.

05:24 pm
BS Yeddyurappa, the chief ministerial candidate of the BJP emerged from the Karnataka Raj Bhavan a few minutes back. Addressing the media, he said that that he has requested time from the Governor to prove his majority in the Assembly.

04.30 pm
Leader of Janata Dal (Secular), H D Kumaraswamy, has staked claim to form the government in Karnataka. He has sent a letter to the Governor stating the same. As per the latest numbers from the Election Commission, the JD(S) has 37 seats with it. The Congress has 78, and the BJP, 104.

01.52 pm
The Mahadayi water issue did not seem to help the Congress. The BJP is leading in 8 seats constituencies where the Mahadayi issue matters. The Congress is in second place with 5 seats. The Congress had tried to blame the BJP for this issue. It had said that it was a BJP government in Goa which was not in favour of a resolution.

On the Congress front, the criticism for Siddaramaiah by his colleagues in the Congress has already begun. Many in the party feel that his decision to contest from two seats could have sent a wrong message to the voters. Badami was chosen as a safe seat and this sent the message that the CM was shaky. Siddaramaiah’s defeat in Chamundeshwari is attributed to several issues. There was a consolidation of both the Vokkaliga and Dalit votes against him. The Vokkaligas felt that Siddaramaiah had overdone the Lingayat issue. The Dalits felt that Siddaramaiah’s AHINDA policy had benefited only the Kurubas and minorities. More importantly the voters of Chamundeshwari always sang praises of G T Deve Gowda who had a lot for the development of the Constituency.

12.51 pm
In Shirahatti, the constituency which has the reputation of electing an MLA from the party which wins Karnataka, BJP’s R S Lamani is leading over his Congress rival by around 30,000 votes.

12.14 pm
H K Patil of the Congress is leading by mere 7 votes in Gadag against BJP’s Anil Mensinakai.

11.57 am
The Lingayat scheme of the Congress seems to have failed spectacularly. Vinay Kulkarni, one of the key players who led the Lingayat ploy of the party, is trailing by 13,000 votes in the seat of Dharwad.

11.53 am
Yogi Adityanath was a trump card for the BJP. He addressed several rallies and going by the results, he has had an impact on several areas. His campaign was focused around the coast, Hubli-Dharwad, Uttar Kannada, Belgaum and Bidar. The biggest impact of the Yogi campaign can be seen in the coastal region, which is considered to be a Hindutva centre. In the coast, the BJP has put up an impressive performance where it is leading in 18 out of the 21 seats which includes the two seats in Kodagu. In Belgaum too which borders Maharashtra, the Yogi impact could be found with the BJP leading in 10 and the Congress, 7.  The Yogi impact was not much in Bidar with the Congress leading in 4 and BJP, 1. In Uttar Kannada, the BJP leads in 4 and the Congress 2. Overall it appears as though Yogi was able to break into the Congress the highest in the coast, where the BJP put up one of its worst performance in 2013.

10.56 am

Energy Minister in the outgoing Karnataka government, D K Shivakumar, has conceded the defeat of Congress in the assembly elections. "We have to concede defeat. We have failed," he told News18.

10.50 am

Despite the efforts of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Congress to split them, Lingayats have remained united and rejected the grand old party in 43 seats, out of the 63 at stake.

10.40 am

The Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensex surges by more than 350 points to 35,880 as trends point to a strong performance by the BJP in Karnataka. At one point of time, it jumped over 400 points. The Nifty was also up to 10,900 points.

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10.17 am

G T Deve Gowda is now leading in Chamundeshwari against Siddaramaiah by 12,680 votes. The CM is also trailing in Badami.

10.13 am

The BJP is performing better in the coastal region of Karnataka when compared to 2013 elections. However, one could not call it a sweep, and the Congress has given a tough fight. While there has been a considerable polarisation of the Hindu votes in favour of the BJP, the Muslim and Christians have largely voted for the Congress. An analysis would show that the BJP’s choice of candidates could also have been a problem. A complaint in a large section of the Billavas was that preference was given to the Bunt community.

10.12 am

Latest leads from coastal Karnataka show a sweep for BJP.

10.12 am

Trends in Uttara Kannada show a mixed bag for the BJP.

10.07 am

According to the Election Commission, CM Siddaramaiah is trailing by 331 votes against Sreeramulu in Badami. Vinay Kulkarni, the Lingayat face of the Congress, trails by 4,000 votes at Dharwad. Meanwhile, the other Congress Lingayat leader, M B Patil, is leading by 4,440 votes in the Babaleshwar constituency. In another surprise, N A Haris from the Congress is trailing in Shanthinagar. This was a closely-watched constituency after his son was arrested following a bar brawl.

9.56 am

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According to the latest update on ECI website, CM Siddharamaiah's lead is now reduced to just 298 votes in Badami. Sreeramulu is catching up.

9.55 am

The latest trends.

9.45 am

The party-wise vote share at 9.45 am.

9.42 am

According to Election Commission of India (ECI) trends, CM Siddaramaiah is trailing by 5,565 votes now in Chamundeshwari.

9.35 am

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is leading in Badami against BJP's Sreeramulu by 1,277 votes.

9.32 am

In comparison to the 2013 verdict, early trends suggest that the Congress is down by around 17 per cent. The BJP, on the other hand, is up by 30 per cent when compared to 2013.

As reported earlier, Chamundeshwari was not a safe seat for Siddaramaiah. He is trailing by over 11,000 votes against his rival G T Deve Gowda of the JD(S). It seems that Gowda has channelised the Vokkaliga votes against the Congress and also capitalised on the anger against the AHINDA politics that was played by Siddaramaiah. For now, it appears as though the JD(S) will play the kingmaker. The party is leading in over 30 constituencies. With the BJP and Congress being in a tight fight, it would be over to Deve Gowda at the end of the day, early trends suggest. Meanwhile, H D Kumaraswamy is leading in both Ramanagara and Channapatna. JD(S) candidate, Madhu Bangarappa leads in Soraba. He is the son of former chief minister, S Bangarappa. He is locked in a contest with his brother, Kumar Bangarappa.

9.30 am

BJP is leading in Bilgi, Byadgi, Gulbarga (rural), Haveri, Kadur, Kapu, Honnali, Kundapura, Mangalore City North, South, Moodabidri, Mudigere, Nanjangud, Puttur, Sakleshpur, Shirahatti, Tarikere, Tirthahalli, Udupi, Yadgir, Yelburga. It had lost all these seats in 2013.

9.20 am

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G T Devegowda of JD(S) is ahead in Chamundeshwari. Siddaramaiah is trailing by 3,445 votes.

9.19 am

BJP candidates are leading in Shirahatti, Tarikere, Tirthahalli and Yelburga. All four seats were won by Congress in 2013.

9.13 am

As of 09:13 am, almost all Kannada TV news channels are projecting BJP as the single largest party. Moreover, all of them are also showing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah trailing from Chamundeshwari.

9.08 am

BJP's M P Kumaraswamy is leading in Mudigere by 1,327 votes against B B Ningaiah of Janata Dal (Secular). The latter had won the seat in 2013 by a tiny margin of 635 votes. R V Deshpande, minister in the outgoing Congress government, is leading over his BJP rival Sunil Hegde. Deshpande won the seat last time by 5,939 votes.

9.04 am

Who is leading where in the Lingayat region.

9.01 am

BJP's Umanatha Kotian is leading in Moodabidri by 4,400 votes. Congress had won this seat in 2013 by 4,550 votes. BJP's Neharu Olekar is ahead in Haveri by over 800 votes. Congress had won this seat in 2013 by a huge margin of 30,208 votes.

8.40 am

At this point in time, different sources are showing different numbers. On some channels, BJP is shown in lead, and in others, Congress. Regional Kannada channels, however, are giving the lead to BJP.

8.33 am

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is now leading in both Chamundeshwari and Badami, and his son is leading from the former's original constituency, Varuna.

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8.30 am

BJP's Amrupayyappa Desai is leading in Dharwad against Vinay Kulkarni of Congress. Kulkarni is one of the Lingayat faces for the INC. In March, the Siddaramaiah government had given its approval to grant minority status to Lingayats.

8.15 am

In early trends, incumbent Congress Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is leading in Badami assembly constituency against B Sriramulu of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

8.00 am

Counting of votes for the Karnataka assembly has begun. Before any substantial leads are determined, here are a few pointers.

Read this for what contests and issues to keep note of. This for 16 data points to make sense of the elections, and this for 10 things to keep in mind while reading the results.

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