In tandem with exit poll results, Karnataka is turning out to be the lone face-saver for the BJP in south India. The state, which voted against the saffron party during the assembly elections in 2018 and opted for the Congress-JD(S) coalition, has turned the tide in this elections with the BJP securing clear leads from 23 seats in the state. The Congress is leading from three seats, while the JD(S) in 1, according to latest numbers from the Election Commission of India (ECI).
BJP-backed independent candidate Sumalatha Ambareesh is leading from Mandya against Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil Kumaraswamy, the Congress-JD(S) candidate. Sumalatha, a popular south Indian actress and late Karnataka Congress leader Ambareesh's wife, is leading Nikhil by 1,084 votes. She took the political plunge as an independent candidate after being denied a ticket by the Congress. In 2014, Congress candidate Ramya, who currently heads AICC social media wing, had lost to JD(S)'s C.S.Puttaraju by over 5,000 votes.
Tejasvi Surya, BJP's surprise pick for Bangalore South, has taken a comfortable lead of 1,00,799 against Congress's B.K. Hariprasad. The 28-year-old Surya is one of the youngest candidates in the fray this time. Bangalore South was held by former Union minister Ananth Kumar, till his death last year. Ananth Kumar was a five-time MP from Bangalore South constituency. In 2014, In 2014 General Election, Ananth Kumar had defeated the Congress candidate Nandan Nilekani with a margin of 2,28,575 votes.
In Tumkur, former PM and JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda, sitting MP from Hassan, is trailing BJP's G.S. Basavaraj by 13,616 votes. In 2014, Deve Gowda had won from Hassan on JD(S) ticket defeating Congress's Manju A. by about a lakh votes. This year, the JD(S) patriarch vacated his Hassan seat for his grandson Prajwal Revanna. In 2014, Muddahanumegowda S.P. of Congress had defeated Basavaraj in Tumkur with a margin of 74,041 votes.
In Hassan, the previous bastion of JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda, his grandson Prajwal Revanna is leading BJP's Manju A. by a margin of 75,208 votes. Prajwal is Karnataka CM HDK's nephew. In 2014, H.D. Deve Gowda had won from Hassan on JD(S) ticket defeating Congress's Manju A by about a lakh votes. Devegowda vacated Hassan for Prajwal this year.
In Uttara Kannada, Union minister and BJP candidate Anantkumar Hegde is ahead of JD(S)'s Anand Asnotikar by about 2 lakh votes.