Bangalore: Former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa dealt a body blow to the ruling BJP as it appeared set to slump to the third position behind the JDS, as the Congress was struggling towards majority in the Karnataka Assembly, latest trends showed.
With trends available for 208 of the total 223 segments which went to polls on May five, Congress was leading in 98, followed by the JDS in 47 and the BJP in 36.
As many as 17 independents were leading and may play a key role in government formation, should the Congress fall short of numbers.
In the 224-member House, 113 seats would be required for majority. Polling was held in 223 segments, with the one in Periyapatna in Mysore district put off to May 28 following death of a BJP candidate.
Karnataka Janatha Paksha of Yeddyurappa, who broke away from the BJP late last year and formed the regional outfit, was ahead in ten segments. Significantly, KJP has damaged the prospects of the BJP in many constituencies, eating into its votes.
The Congress appeared set to for a clean sweep in coastal Dakshina Kannada district, a traditional BJP stronghold.
But it was the JDS of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda which was the surprise package of the polls, faring better than expected.
In Bangalore urban areas, which has a total of 28 seats, the Congress was ahead in 11 and the BJP in eight.