The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is inching closer towards forming the next government in Karnataka, as it has taken a significant lead so far.
As per Election Commission (EC) data, the BJP is leading in 111 constituencies, while the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) are leading in 65 and 38 seats respectively, thus implying that the saffron party could emerge as the single largest party in the state.
Among the chief ministerial candidates of the three parties, BJP''s Yeddyurappa is leading in Shikaripura by 21,140 votes, while JD (S)''s H.D. Kumaraswamy is leading by a margin of 13,761 in Ramanagara and 12,347 in Channapatna.
Meanwhile, incumbent Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is leading in Badami by 2,726 votes, while he is trailing in Chamundeshwari by 24,072 votes.
Earlier today, BJP leader Sadananda Gowda had claimed that his party would cross the required number of seats, thereby downplaying the possibility of an alliance with the JD (S).
"There is no question of alliance [with JD (S)] as we are already crossing 112 seats," he told ANI.
Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh snubbed the Congress saying a new movement called ''Congress khojo abhiyan'' (find Congress movement) would begin in the country.
"This is a historic win for the BJP. I want to thank all the people of Karnataka for voting for us. Now in India, there will be a new movement called ''Congress khojo abhiyan''; we will not know where they will be," he said.
If the BJP forms the government in Karnataka, it will then be ruling in 22 states in India.
On a related note, a party or an alliance needs 112 seats to form the government.
A total of 2,654 candidates, including 216 women candidates were in the fray for the Assembly Elections this year.(ANI)