A confident Congress elected Siddaramaiah as Karnataka's new chief minister after majority of the newly elected 121 state legislators voted for the leader in a secret ballot.
Siddaramaiah a backward caste leader is a late entrant to the party and earlier belonged to Janata Dal. With him, the Congress has soft pedaled any threat from JD(S) which will now become the potent political force in the state
With votes were being tallied in the south Indian state of Karnataka last week, it came as a jolt to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has ruled the state for the past five years. The Congress which leads the UPA coalition in the centre swept the polls winning absolute majority in the 224 assembly seats up for grabs in the Karnataka election. Congress won at least 121, a comfortable majority. The BJP, which formerly claimed Karnataka as its stronghold, secured a meager 40. Meanwhile, regional party Janata Dal (Secular), or JD (S), made large gains, matching the BJP with 40 seats
The desire for change resounded across the state, including the youthful capital city of Bangalore, an information technology powerhouse known as the "Silicon Valley of India." The win represents a major blow to the Hindu nationalist BJP, which may portend disappointment in India's general elections next year. "We have had a setback," conceded former Karnataka chief minister and BJP leader Sadananda Gowda. The BJP won 110 seats at the last Karnataka elections in 2008." Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who gave credit to his party's vice president Rahul Gandhi for his role in the win. "The people of the country know what's what and they will reject the BJP ideology as the result in Karnataka shows.