Bangalore, May 25 : The Bharatiya Janata Party was within sniffing distance of securing a simple majority in the Karnataka State Assembly, bagging 91 seats and leading in 20 with the declaration of results for 189 out of the 224 seats.
The saffron surge was successful in ensuring the defeat of Congress heavyweights N. Dharam Singh and R V Deshpande on Sunday.
The results and trends showed that BJP will emerge as the single largest party but may fall short of the magic figure of 113 by a few seats.
Congress won 70 seats and was ahead in seven seats while JD(S) remained a distant third bagging 23 and led in six seats.
Others and independents won five seats and were leading in two.
In the 2004 elections, BJP and Congress had won 79 and 65 seats respectively while the JDS 58.
N. Dharam Singh, eyeing his ninth consecutive win in Jewargi, lost to BJP's Doddappa Gowda Patil Naribol by 612 votes.
Former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy of JD(S) won the Ramanagaram seat for the second straight time beating nearest BJP rival M Rudresh.
The Congress's Mamata Nichhani, daughter of former Chief Minister Ramakrishna Hegde, came third.
Deshpande, a former Minister, lost the Haliyal seat to Sunil Hegde of the Janata Dal (Secular) by a margin of 5,425 votes.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President M Mallikarjun Kharge won by 17,456 votes.
BJP Chief Ministerial candidate B S Yeddiurappa won from his nearest rival.
Congress MP Ambareesh (Srirangapatna) and former deputy Chief Minister M P Prakash, also of Congress, (Harappanahalli) were the prominent candidates who were trailing.
In Kumta, Dinakar Keshav Shetty of JD (S) won by a slender margin of 20 votes against his nearest Congress rival.