Karnataka assembly elections
BJP workers celebrate the party's lead in more than 100 Assembly seats outside the party office in Bengaluru | PTI
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The unique trend started way back in 1972 when the Congress won the Shirahatti seat and went on to form the government led by Devraj Urs.

New Delhi: The Karnataka assembly poll results, declared Tuesday, has thrown a surprise. For the first time in 46 years, the party that has won the Shirahatti assembly seat in Karnataka — considered a bellwether constituency — may not be able to form the government in the state.

BJP candidate R.S. Lamani won the seat by a margin of over 20,000 votes against his nearest rival D.R. Shiddlingappa of the Congress party in this election, results of which were declared Tuesday.

Traditionally, the party which bags the Shirahatti seat rules the state.

However, as the trends showed Tuesday, BJP was leading in 104 seats — eight seats short of the majority mark — until the filing of this report.

The unique trend started way back in 1972 when the Congress won the seat and went on to form the government led by Devraj Urs.

The Congress retained the constituency for a decade until U.G. Fakeerappa, sitting Congress MLA, contested as an independent in the 1983 polls and decided to support the Janata Party. Ramkrishna Hedge of the Janata Party became chief minister.

In the 1989 assembly elections, the Congress recaptured the Shirahatti seat and formed the government.

The BJP won this seat for the first time in 2008 when party candidate R.S. Lamani defeated H.R. Nayak of the Congress by over 10,000 votes. The same year the BJP formed its first majority government in Karnataka. Also, it was the first BJP government in south India.

In the 2013 assembly elections, D.R. Shiddalingappa of the Congress defeated R.S. Lamani of the BJP by only 315 votes and the party formed the government with Siddaramaiah as chief minister.

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