Bengaluru | Opposition Congress on Saturday seemed to be on course to breach rival BJP's lone southern citadel Karnataka, racing ahead towards the magic 113 figure to form a government on its own. Buoyed by the initial trends, Congress said the message given to the BJP was to stick to public issues that matter, even as the saffron party expressed hope of securing the simple majority mark of 113.
The opposition party marched ahead establishing a lead in 118 constituencies, while the BJP was leading in 73 segments, the latest Election Commission (EC) trends of counting of votes polled in the Karnataka Assembly elections showed.
The former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal is leading in 25 segments, and others in 8 seats.
BJP leader and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai (Shiggaon) and Congress State unit President D K Shivakumar (Kanakapura) were leading in their respective seats.
Former CM Jagadish Shettar, who quit the BJP after being denied to contest in the May 10 polls for the 224-member Assembly, was trailing in Hubballi-Dharwad Central by 2,614 votes. He was fielded there by the Congress.
JD(S) leader and another former CM, H D Kumaraswamy was leading in Channapatna against BJP's C P Yogeshwara by 93 votes.
Shivakumar was ahead of his BJP rival, state minister R Ashoka by about 6,000 votes.
Congress leader Pavan Khera said, "this is the message for the BJP that please stick to issues that matter to everyday life of people and don't try and divide India." Former Chief Minister and senior BJP leader D V Sadananda Gowda said: "It is too early to comment on the final results. But certainly we will cross 113.".