The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is heading for a simple majority in the 223-member Karnataka Assembly, as it surged ahead in 12 of the 15 constituencies where the vote count is underway for the December 5 polls since 8.00 a.m., a party official said on Monday.
“Our party is ahead of the opposition Congress in a dozen seats and trailing behind it only in two seats and an Independent in one seat after 10 rounds of the vote count in all the 15 Assembly segments,” BJP’s state unit spokesman G. Madusudhan told IANS.
With 104 members excluding the Speaker and the support of an Independent, the ruling party has 105 seats in the Assembly, including one nominated from the Anglo-Indian community with voting rights.
“Our party’s strength alone will go up to 116, excluding the Speaker and 117 with the Independent, which will be 5 above the simple majority of 112 in the 223-member Assembly, with 2 seats vacant.
Bye-elections in two Assembly seats Muski in Raichur district and R. R. Nagar in Bengaluru southwest was not held, as litigation on its results from the 2018 Assembly elections is pending in the Karnataka High Court.
Though Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa formed the government for the third time on May 17, 2018, with 105 members, he resigned on May 19 after he failed to secure eight seats required for the simple majority with 113 as the halfway mark then.
Yediyurappa, however, returned to power for the fourth time in the southern state, on July 26 after the 14-month-old JD-S Coalition government fell on July 23.
As the 5-year tenure of the present Assembly lasts till May 2023, the BJP can remain in the office for the remaining over three years.