The Congress is set to win the Karnataka assembly elections, dislodging the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from its lone southern citadel. The Congress is currently leading on 135 seats, while the BJP is ahead on 64.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has already conceded defeat and announced a detailed analysis of the results. "We have not been able to cross the mark. Once the results out, we will do a detailed analysis. We will find out the gaps and deficiencies, and we will reorganise the party and come back for the Lok Sabha elections," Mr Bommai said.
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.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram congratulated the state's people for a "decisive verdict" and said they stood up to the "money and muscle power of the so-called double engine government" of the BJP.
"Warm congratulations and sincere thanks to the people of Karnataka for delivering a decisive verdict. This election was more than an election to a state assembly. It was about upholding the fundamental values of the Indian Constitution and stopping the damage done by supremacist theories, discrimination and prejudice," Mr Chidamabram said on Twitter.
Congress state chief DK Shivakumar broke down as he thanked the party workers for their hard work. "I had assured the Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and Mallikarjun Kharge that I will deliver Karnataka," he said.
The Congress's win in Karnataka is a major setback for the BJP, which had been in power in the state for the last five years. The BJP's defeat is being attributed to a number of factors, including the party's failure to deliver on its promises, the anti-incumbency factor, and the Congress's strong campaign.
The Congress's win in Karnataka is a significant development for the party, which has been struggling to win elections in recent years. The party's victory in Karnataka is likely to boost its morale and give it a much-needed boost ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.