Bangalore: Showing remarkable recovery since it lost power in the Karnataka Assembly polls last year, BJP today bagged three Lok Sabha seats and was ahead of the ruling Congress in 15 others.
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Congress was leading in eight constituencies and JDS headed by former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda in two as trends and results were available for all 28 seats in Karnataka. BJP's Nalin Kumar Kateel trounced former KPCC chief B Janardhana Poojary by 1,43,709 votes in Dakshina Kannada constituency.
BJP's Anantkumar Hegde and B Sreeramulu won the Uttara Kannada and Bellary seats, respectively. Sreeramulu, once a close aide of mining baron B Janardhana Reddy, had joined the BJP ahead of elections leaving behind the BSR Congress which he had founded after deserting the saffron party two years before.
In the keenly watched bitter contest in Bangalore South, Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani was trailing behind BJP's Ananth Kumar, by over 48,000 votes. "I concede defeat and congratulate Ananth Kumar for his performance in this poll," Nilekani, the face of UPA's flagship Aadhar programme said, even as the counting was underway.
BJP has established leads in two other constituencies in Bangalore -- North and Central. Former Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda took an unassailable margin of over 2,24,000 votes in Bangalore North while in Bangalore Central, P C Mohan was leading by over 77,300 votes.
Union Minister M Veerappa Moily, who was trailing in the initial rounds, made some recovery and was leading by 7,626 votes in Chikkaballapur. In Gulbarga, Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge won by 74,733 votes over BJP's Revunaik Belamagi.
BJP strongman and former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa was unstoppable as he was leading by a whooping margin of over 3,62,000 votes in his bastion of Shimoga against Congress' Manjunath Bhandary.
In Hassan, Gowda also marched ahead with a margin of over one lakh votes over his Congress' rival A Manju. The results and trends so far are heartwarming for the BJP which was downcast after it suffered a humiliating defeat in the 2013 May Assembly polls, when it lost its first ever party government in the South.