AFTER decades of waiting, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday scripted history as it dramatically bagged top honours in the Karnataka election to rule a state in south India on its own strength for the first time, reports Hindustan Times. In the process, the BJP dealt a major blow to the Congress, which also suffered huge defeats in all three Lok Sabha by-elections for which results were declared Sunday. BJP's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani promptly claimed that 2008 would prove to be a year of change in politics for India, where a new parliamentary election is due next year. It was the failure to regain power in Karnataka and, worse, the loss of its former bastion to the BJP in a decisive way that stunned the Congress. One leader frankly admitted he had no idea what had gone wrong while another, speaking off the record, said party president Sonia Gandhi too was to blame for the mess in Karnataka. The BJP, which tasted power for just a week in November last year before being toppled by the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), swept large parts of Karnataka to end up with 110 seats - just short of the magical figure of 113 needed to form a government. This was a significant rise from the 79 seats it bagged in 2004 when too it became the largest single group but could not take power. The Congress bagged 80 seats, up from 65 in 2004. The biggest loser was the JD-S, whose tally fell to 28 from 58 in 2004. Independents and smaller groups claimed six seats. The BJP has begun talks with some independents as the party's central leadership expressed confidence of forming the government. BJP's chief ministerial aspirant B S Yediyurappa, 65, said he would call on the governor Monday to stake claim to form a government. He said some independents were in touch with his party and would extend support to the BJP. According to Zee News, The BJP legislature party meeting has been called in Bangalore Monday (today) to elect Yeddyurappa as its leader. He said he would call on Governor Rameshwar Thakur Monday (today) to stake claim to form a govt. Yediyurappa will take oath as the new Chief Minister of the state on May 28.  According to Hindustan Times, while the BJP won 16 of 21 seats in Bangalore city, India's IT hub, several Congress stalwarts lost. This included former Congress chief minister N Dharam Singh, who failed to make it to the assembly for the 10th time in a row, losing by just 77 votes. Elsewhere in the country, the Shiv Sena retained the Thane Lok Sabha constituency with Anand Paranjpe winning the by-election with an impressive margin of 86,000 votes against his nearest rival, Sanjeev Naik of the NCP. Anand is the son of Shiv Sena MP Prakash Paranjpe, whose death in February led to the poll. In Meghalaya, NCP's Agatha Kongkal Sangma, daughter of former Lok Sabha speaker Purno Sangma, won the Tura Lok Sabha seat by a record 181,760 votes, defeating Congress candidate Zenith Sangma. The BJP had good news in Himachal Pradesh too. Its Anurag Thakur, son of Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, won the Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat by a margin of nearly 175,000 votes. In Haryana, the Congress won the assembly by-elections from Indri and Gohana seats. But Bhajan Lal retained his Adampur assembly seat as the head of the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC).