India’s BJP eyes majority in crucial Karnataka state poll
Tahmeed Taha: Early results show that India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is heading towards a majority in the southern state of Karnataka. According to the Election Commission, 57 seats have been won by the BJP and it is ahead in another 57 in the 224-seat assembly. The polls are seen as a bellwether of 2019 general elections. A major blow for Congress would be losing Karnataka, analysts believe, which runs only three of India’s 29 states. The BJP and its allies are in power in 22. The performance of BJP has defied exit poll results which predicted a hung assembly. BBC reporters in Karnataka say that elebrations have begun in earnest at party headquarters. By mid-afternoon 28 seats had been taken by the ongress. While the regional Janata Dal (Secular) had seven seats and led in another 31, the Congress was leading in 49. In Saturday’s poll in Karnataka, more than 72% of voters cast their ballots, the hub of India’s information technology industry and has a population of 64 million.