Bangalore, May 25 : The Bharatiya Janata Party is leading in counting of votes which progressed for 224 constituencies in Karnataka on Sunday under tight security.
Early trends indicate BJP has emerged as the single largest party while the Congress is close second. Out of the 196 seats for which trends are available BJP was ahead in 88 seats while Congress was leading in 71 constituencies. The JD (S) on the other hand was only leading in 31 seats. Independents and others were ahead in six segments.
Chief Electoral Officer M N Vidyashankar said that results would be pronounced by 3 p.m. The fate of 2,241 candidates is sealed in about 46,000 EVMs, which is being counted in 48 centres.
Congress and BJP, the major political players are hoping to thwart a hung House and form a government on their own.
The election has evoked intense curiosity among the people of the state who are eagerly waiting to see whether they would have a single party rule or the elections return yet another fractured verdict as in 2004.
BJP is optimistic of a two-third majority, saying it was expecting to win 117 out of 125 seats, while Congress, in a cautious approach has settled down for a "simple" majority.
JD (S) is hoping for a hung House, to enable the party to play a role in government formation.
Prominent leaders whose poll fortune will be known on Sunday are BJP's chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa against whom Congress and JD(S) have put up their common candidate - Bangarappa (Samajwadi Party) in Shikaripura constituency in Shimoga district.
H D Devegowda, the JD (S) supremo has already reached Hassan to keep track of counting process of his sons.
Other heavyweights awaiting the outcome include KPCC president M Mallikarjun Kharge, who is eyeing for a ninth consecutive victory. Kharge has switched from his traditional bastion Gurmitkal to Chitapur reserved after the former became general constituency in delimitation process.
Former Chief Minister N Dharam Singh is also hoping for the record ninth win from Jewargi and former Deputy Chief Ministers Siddaramaiah (Varuna) and M P Prakash (Harappanahalli) are the other notables whose poll prospects will be known today.
Karnataka is the first state in the country to face election as per re-drawn constituencies.