Bommai tenders resignation as CM; CLP meeting today to elect new CM

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Bengaluru : As the counting of votes for the Karnataka assembly elections concluded on Saturday, Congress got a thumping majority by winning 136 seats.

According to the Election Commission of India, Congress won 136 seats pushing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) out of power in the only southern state it ruled, and boosting its own prospects for the electoral battles ahead.

BJP managed to win 65 seats. Janata Dal-Secular (JDS) bagged 19 seats. Independents have won two seats while Kalyana Rajya Pragathi Paksha and Sarvodaya Karnataka Paksha won one seat each.

The Congress maintained a lead from the morning when counting began for the assembly seats in the fiercely contested election.

Notably, Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar defeated JDS candidate B Nagaraju in the Kanakapura constituency by 1,22,392 votes.

Former deputy chief minister and Congress leader G Parameshwara defeated JDS's PR Sudhakar Lal by 14,347 votes.

Congress' HD Thammaiah defeated BJP's CT Ravi in Chikmagalur, by a margin of 5,926 votes.Congress leader Suresh Baabu defeated State Minister and BJP candidate JC Madhu Swamy in Chikkanayakanahall by a margin of 10,042 votes. In Chikkaballapur seat, Congress' Pradeep Eshwar defeated State Minister and BJP candidate K Sudhakar by a margin of 10,642 votes.

Congress' BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan defeated former Bengaluru Police Commissioner and BJP candidate Bhaskar Rao, by a margin of 53,953 votes, in Chamrajpet.

Chief Minister Basavraj Bommai had conceded defeat as trends showed a massive Congress surge. He said BJP will emerge victorious in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

After the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost the Karnataka Assembly elections, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Saturday tendered his resignation to Governor Thaawar Chand Gehlot.

"I have tendered my resignation and it has been accepted," Bommai told reporters.

Bommai won with a margin of 35,978 votes from Shiggaon constituency but many of his ministerial colleagues lost.

"...I take responsibility for this debacle. There are multiple reasons for this. We will find out all the reasons and strengthen the party once again for Parliament elections..," he said.

With the Congress' emphatic victory in the Karnataka elections on Saturday, ousting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from power in the only southern state ruled by it, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge said the election results marked a "BJP-free South India".

"It is a big victory. Through this, new energy emerged in the whole nation. BJP used to taunt us and say that 'we will make Congress mukt Bharat'. Now the truth is that it is 'BJP mukt south India," said Kharge.

Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said Karnataka election results opened the pathway to save democracy.

"Karnataka has given a new mantra to save democracy. It is a pathway to save democracy and Constitution across India. Prime Minister said 'Congress Mukt Bharat' but the people of Karnataka ensured that 'BJP Mukt South India'. People opened shops of love and closed the shops of hatred," Surjewala said.

Former chief minister Siddaramaiah informed that Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting will be held on Sunday.

"We will get almost all Congress MLAs tomorrow in CLP. It is a win of 7 crore Kannadigas. It is not just the win of Congress or leaders. When BJP came to power, they never came to power with the blessings of the people, they came to post through 'operation Kamala'.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge held a meeting with top leaders of the party from the State.

Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar and former chief minister Siddaramaiah were present at the meeting held at Kharge's residence.

DK Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah also felicitated Kharge as Congress sweeps the Karnataka polls.

Pertinent to mention, the Karnataka election was a major victory for Congress after Kharge assumed as party president earlier this year.

An incumbent government has not returned to power in Karnataka after a full term of five years since 1985.

In the 2018 assembly polls, BJP emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats, Congress won 80 seats and JD(S) got 37 seats.

The Congress victory has come at a time when it is seeking momentum ahead of assembly polls later this year in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Telangana and the Lok Sabha polls next year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Congress over its victory in assembly polls. He appreciated the hard work of BJP workers and said that the party will serve Karnataka with even more vigour in the times to come

"Congratulations to the Congress Party for their victory in the Karnataka Assembly polls. My best wishes to them in fulfilling people's aspirations," PM Modi said in a tweet.

"I thank all those who have supported us in the Karnataka elections. I appreciate the hard work of BJP Karyakartas. We shall serve Karnataka with even more vigour in the times to come," he added.

The next task for the Congress is to choose a chief ministerial candidate with both state Congress chief DK Shivakumar and former chief minister Siddaramaiah aspirants for the post.Congress leader and former MP Rahul Gandhi hailed the party's victory in Karnataka assembly polls and said that people of the state defeated the "politics of hate".

Speaking to reporters at the Congress headquarters in the national capital, Rahul Gandhi said that the Congress stood with the poor.

"The poor defeated crony capitalists in Karnataka...We fought the elections with love...," he said.

"I want to thank all the party leaders and workers in Karnataka. 'Karnataka mein Nafrat ki bazaar band hui hai, Mohabbat ki dukaane khuli hai'. We fought on the issues of the poor. We did not fight this battle using hatred and wrong words. This will happen in every state," Rahul Gandhi said.

Rahul Gandhi coined the 'Nafrat ki bazaar band hui hai, Mohabbat ki dukaane khuli hai' phrase "during the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

"Poor people defeated crony capitalists in Karnataka. We didn't fight this battle using hatred..." he said.

Karnataka went to the polls on May 10 for the 224-member state assembly and saw a record polling of 72.68 per cent. A party needs 113 seats to get the majority. (ANI)

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