Opposition leaders on Saturday hailed the Congress’ victory in Karnataka, saying that it was a win for plurality and secularism.

The Congress won 135 out of 244 seats in the election that took place on May 10, registering its biggest victory in the state since 1989. The Bharatiya Janata Party won 66 seats, and was defeated in the only state in south India where it held power.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the Karnataka election result constituted the defeat of “brute authoritarian and majoritarian politics”.

She said on Twitter: “My salutations to the people of Karnataka for their decisive mandate in favour of change...When people want plurality and democratic forces to win, no central design to dominate can repress their spontaneity : that is the moral of the story, lesson for tomorrow.”

Last week, Banerjee had urged the citizens of Karnataka not to vote for the BJP.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin congratulated the Congress, and noted that the BJP is no longer in power in any of the southern states. “The unjustifiable disqualification of brother Rahul Gandhi as MP, misusing premier investigative agencies against political opponents, imposing Hindi, rampant corruption have all echoed in the minds of Karnataka people while voting and they have upheld the Kannadiga pride by teaching a befitting lesson to BJP’s vindictive politics,” he said.

Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar also congratulated the Congress on its victory. “I congratulate people of Karnataka as well for rejecting hate politics; casteism and instilling their faith on democratic and secular values of our nation,” he said.

Modi, Shah congratulate Congress

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the Congress for its victory in Karnataka. “My best wishes to them in fulfilling people’s aspirations,” he said.

The prime minister thanked all those who supported the BJP in the election, and said that his party will “serve Karnataka with even more vigour in the times to come”.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the BJP will continue to work for the welfare of the people of Karnataka. “My sincere gratitude to the people of Karnataka for giving the BJP the opportunity to serve them for so many years,” he said.