Bellary (Karnataka), May 13 : As Karnataka gears up for the second phase of Assembly elections slated for May 16, migrants from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh hold the key in the State's Bellary District.
Chief Minister of the neighbouring Congress-ruled Andhra Pradesh Y.S. Rajashekhar Reddy is also campaigning for the Congress party.
For the first phase of the Assembly elections 89 constituencies of the 224-member State Assembly, spread over 11 districts, voted on Saturday.
Rubbishing charges that Congress party had not posted a good performance in the first phase of the polls, the State party chief expressed confidence that the party would get a simple majority in the state.
"People inimical to the Congress have manipulated figures and they are saying that the BJP will emerge victorious, Janata Dal Secular (JD-S) second and the Congress third. Do you see that with your own eyes? So we are confident that we will rule the state and we are going to get a simple majority in the state, definitely, don't worry," said Mallikarjun Kharge, president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), in Bellary on Tuesday.
A fractured verdict in the May 2004 election had led to the formation of the first coalition government in the state by a defeated Congress and an upbeat JD-S, which had won respectively 64 and 58 seats.
After 20 months, former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy revolted against the Congress-led government and withdrew support to its Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh. He then joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form a second coalition government in February 2006 on condition he would transfer power to his deputy, Yedyurappa of BJP, after 20 months' rule in October 2007.
However, differences arose over the power-sharing formula and the state has been in a political wilderness since November last year when the B.S. Yeddyurappa-led coalition was ousted from the assembly in less than a fortnight of being sworn in and the state was put under Centre's rule.
The remaining 135 constituencies will go to polls on May 16 and 22.
Votes will be counted on May 25 and results are expected by afternoon.