Bangalore: The hardest hit by the mandate in Karnataka has been Deve Gowda's JD(S).
The JD(S) tally slumped by more than 20 seats, dashing the party's hopes of exploiting a hung assembly and giving the humble farmer from Hardanahalli no chance to play king-maker in Bangalore.
With the BJP not requiring the unreliable helping hand of Gowda and his sons, the party's future appeared bleak.
On its part, the JD(S) feared efforts by bigger parties to break its ranks.
“The BJP is trying to split us,” former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy had said.
There are reasons to be worried because loyalty is never guaranteed in smaller regional outfits.
Already the party has experienced desertion of heavyweights like Siddharamaiah and Prakash. It has taken a beating in its captive Vokkalinga vote-bank of southern Karnataka. Of course, the party may be able to survive this crisis if Kumaraswamy can keep his flock together
“Of course, it doesn't mean the end of the road,” he said.
For a party which had begun its humble journey nine years ago with only ten seats, this may not be the end of the road.
It could, however, spell curtains for a political career spanning nearly five decades as former prime minister Gowda was already losing his say before the polls; he may now slowly bow out of active politics.