The assembly election in Karnataka delivered a fractured verdict on Thursday.
The Congress was ousted from power as the Bharatiya Janata Party emerged as the single largest outfit.
The BJP bagged 79 seats, followed by the Congress (64).
The Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal-Secular, which won 58 seats, holds the key to who will form the next government.
With only one result to be announced for the 224-member House, either the Congress or the BJP has to tie-up with the JD-S to form government
The only other time when the state's voters gave a fractured verdict was in 1983, when Karnataka got its first non-Congress government led by the late Ramakrishna Hegde.
This time the BJP succeeded in breaching the Congress's fortress in north, central and southern parts, but could not get the magic figure of 113, required for a simple majority.
Chief Minister S M Krishna accepted defeat and drove to Raj Bhavan to submit his resignation.
"I accept total defeat. I accept full responsibility," said Krishna.
The JD-S pulled off an impressive performance in the Vokkaliga strongholds in old Mysore districts, besides making its presence felt in parts of central and north Karnataka.
The Congress did not rule out the possibility of joining hands with the JD-S to keep the BJP away from power.
Krishna said, "There are so many possibilities. All possibilities will be explored." He, however, added, "It is all fluid. The ball is in the honourable governor's court."
The Congress suffered major reverses when ministers Kagodu Thimappa, Baburao Chichansoor, Suma Vasanth, H Vishwanath, Vasanth Salian, Ramanath Rai, D B Chandre Gowda, M Shivanna, M Mahadev, B Muniyappa, M M Nanaiah, Sageer Ahmed, S S Mallikarjun, Mallikarjun Nagappa and Motamma had to bite the dust.