Bangalore, May 25 : By Sunday afternoon, the Bharatiya Janata Party appeared close to forming its first government in Karnataka, even though it may fall short of getting a majority.
The saffron party is already leading in over 100 seats, clearly ahead of its rivals the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular).
With more results coming out in the BJP's favour, it has decided to hold its legislature party meeting here on Monday.
BJP General Secretary Arun Jaitley who was among the key figures responsible for evolving a successful strategy for the party is expected to attend the meeting along with other top leaders.
The BJP has already declared B S Yeddiurappa as its Chief Ministerial candidate.
So far, the BJP is leading in 109 seats, the JD(S) in 31 seats, the Congress 76 seats and Others in eight seats.
Of the results in so far, the BJP has won 50 seats, the Congress 28, the Janata Dal (Secular) 10, and the CPI-M one. More results are expected to come in shortly.
The BJP appeared to be doing well in almost all regions.
The prominent candidates in the election included BJP chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddiurappa, who has fought an electoral battle against Samajwadi Party's S Bangarappa, former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, his brother H D Revanna, KPCC President M Mallikarjun Kharge, former Chief Minister N Dharam Singh, former Deputy Chief Minsiters-- Siddaramaiah and M P Prakash.
Other notables contestants are: two sons of Bangarappa, Kumar and Madhu, locked in fierce battle of ballot in Soraba, former ministers R V Deshpande, D K Shivakumar, A Krishnappa, Ramalinga Reddy, Dr G Parameshwara (all Cong), K S Eswarappa, Jagadish Shettar, Katta Subramanya Naidu, R Ashok (all BJP), N Cheluvaraya Swamy of JDS and JDS state unit party president Merajuddin Patel.
Among the MPs trying their luck to enter the Assembly are: film star-turned politician, M H Ambareesh, A Venkatesh Naik, Narsingrao Suryavamshi (all Cong), Basavanagouda Patil Yatnal, Ramesh Jigajinagi, G Karunakara Reddy (all BJP) and S Bangarappa of Samajwadi Party.
In the 2004 election, the Congress could win only 65 seats and the BJP with 28.49 per cent vote share emerged as the single largest party, winning 79 seats.
The JDS, which won 58 seats gaining 20.59 per cent votes, held the key to the government formation, and installed two coalition governments and toppled both of them.