Mumbai: If the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) forms the next government in Karnataka, the saffron party will govern 20 of 29 states, up from seven states as of May 24, 2014--when the party came to power at the Centre with a sweeping victory in the Lok Sabha elections.

Over two-thirds--or 836 million (69%)--of India’s 1.2 billion people will then reside under BJP state governments, up from 340 million (28.1%) in May 2014.

This will be the highest reach of the national ruling party since it was formed in 1980.

The BJP now has a government--or is part of the government--in 19 of 29 states: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

As of 1.41 pm on May 15, 2018, the BJP, with a vote share of 36.5%--its highest in 33 years since the party first contested the state assembly elections in 1985--had won 20 seats and was leading in 86 of a total of 222 seats. Elections to two seats--Rajarajeshwarinagar and Jayanagar--were postponed.

The Congress recorded its highest vote-share (37.9%) since 2004. Yet, the incumbent party in the state was trailing, having won four seats and leading in 71 seats as of 1.41pm.

Regional party Janata Dal-Secular (JDS), which is allied with the Congress in the Bengaluru municipal corporation--the richest civic body in the state--was leading in 38 seats and had won one seat as of 1.41 pm. Its vote share of 18% was lower than the party’s performance in the 2013 elections (20.2%).

Source: Election Commission of India reports *Data for 2018 as of 1.41 pm on May 15, 2018

With 35.6 million votes cast this 2018 state assembly election, Karnataka recorded its highest voter turnout ever at 72.1%, since state elections were first held here in 1952, said chief electoral officer Sanjeev Kumar on May 13, 2018.

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