Anxious night before Karnataka poll results for ‘confident’ BJP, Cong and JDS | Latest News India


The counting of votes for the hotly contested Karnataka assembly elections 2023 will be held on Saturday. The election witnessed a fierce battle between long-standing rivals, the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress, and the Janata Dal (Secular). With the possibility of a hung assembly, all parties and many pollsters are anxiously anticipating the outcome, holding their breath to discover their fate.

Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai, Congress leader DK Shivakumar and JDS HD Kumaraswamy.
Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai, Congress leader DK Shivakumar and JDS HD Kumaraswamy.

While chief minister Basavaraj Bommai exuded confidence in the BJP’s return to power in Karnataka, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said his party would win a “thumping majority”.

Former chief minister and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy has said his party will be the ‘King’ in the Karnataka polls.

With most exit polls giving the Congress an edge over the BJP in the Karnataka assembly election, Bommai said that the ruling party will come to power with a “comfortable majority” as he was confident with the party’s ground reports.

Congress Karnataka president DK Shivakumar said he did not believe in the exit poll results, which predicted a hung assembly while putting his party ahead, adding that they will cross the 146-seat mark.

While the election campaigns saw the BJP and the Congress trading fire over the promise in the latter’s manifesto to proscribe the Bajrang Dal, polling went off peacefully on May 10, with the eventual turnout recorded at a robust 73.29 per cent.

A party needs to win 113 seats to reach the majority mark and stake a claim to forming the government in Karnataka.

What Karnataka exit polls predicted

Though top leaders of the state have exuded confidence about their party winning comfortably in the polls to the 224-member assembly, the exit polls have certainly made them anxious to an extent. No one wants a 2018-like scenario to unfold this time too.

The JD(S) will be the key factor in case of a hung verdict, and may emerge as a ‘king’ or ‘kingmaker’, as in 2018.

In the exit poll results announced on Wednesday, India Today-Axis My India predicted a clear majority for the Congress with 122-140 seats in the 224-member assembly and gave the BJP 62-80 seats. It gave 20-25 seats to the JD (S), the third major player in the race.

News 24-Today’s Chanakya also forecast a majority for the Congress with 120 seats as against 92 seats for the BJP and 12 for the JD(S).

While the ABP News-C Voter exit poll predicted that the Congress would get 100-112 seats, BJP 83-95, JD(S) 21-29, the Republic TV-P MARQ forecast that the Congress will get 94-108 seats, the BJP 85-100 and JD(S) 24-32.

The India TV-CNX exit polls gave the Congress 110-120 seats and the BJP 80-90 seats. They predicted 20-24 seats for the JD (S).

The TV9 Bharatvarsh-Polstrat exit poll stated that the Congress is likely to get 99-109 seats, the BJP 88-98 and the JD(S) 21-26 while the Zee News-Matrize Agency predicted that the Congress would get 103-118, the BJP 79-94 and the JD(S) 25-33.

The News Nation-CGS poll said the BJP would get 114 seats, the Congress 86 and the JD(S) 21. The Suvarna News-Jan Ki Baat forecast that the BJP was likely to win 94-117, Congress 91-106 and the JD(S) 14-24.

Times Now-ETG exit polls gave 113 seats to the Congress and 85 to the BJP. It predicted 23 seats for JD (S).

Key contests that will decide the battle

After a high-decibel campaign during which all three key players in the fray – the BJP, Congress and JD(S) – went at each other and pulled out stops and heavyweight campaigners to woo voters, the verdict in the battle for the Karnataka assembly now rests with the people’s court.

The key constituencies to watch out for on result day are Varuna, Kanakapura, Shiggaon, Hubli-Darwad, Channapatna, Shikaripura, Chittapur, Ramanagara, and Chikmagalur.

The results in these seats could well sway the eventual outcome of the polls.

Also, the Lingayat and Vokkaliga communities, accounting for 17 and 11 per cent of the state’s population, will also play a key role in deciding the eventual poll outcome.

Bommai is seeking a fresh mandate from the Shiggaon constituency from where he has won three consecutive terms in the assembly.

There is also a lot of curiosity around the battle for the Varuna constituency where Congress stalwart and former chief minister Siddaramaiah is pitted against the BJP’s V Somanna, a state minister and Bharathi Shankar of the JD(S).

Shivakumar, who is believed to be vying for the chief minister’s post this time, is also eyeing a fresh term in the Kanakapura assembly constituency. Shivakumar is in a direct contest against the BJP’s Vokkaliga strongman and state revenue minister R Ashoka.

BJP turncoat and former chief minister Jagadish Shettar, who switched over to the Congress after being denied a ticket by the saffron party to contest the Hubli-Darwad West constituency, is up against BJP’s Mahesh Tenginkai.

Key points

> The voting passed off peacefully in Karnataka with a voting turnout of 73.19 per cent, surpassing the 72.36 per cent recorded in 2018.

> A total of 737 theme-based and ethnic Model Polling stations were set up. At 239 Polling stations set up in the state, voters were greeted by PwD staff. As part of the initiative of the Election Commission of India (ECI) to inspire young voters to participate in the festival of democracy, 286 Polling Stations set up were managed by the youngest available staff.

> There were over 11.71 lakh first-time voters registered in the state.

> The counting will be held in 36 centres across the state. A clear picture of the result is likely to emerge by noon.

> In the 2018 assembly elections, the ruling BJP emerged as the single-largest party with 104 seats, followed by the Congress with 78 seats and the JD(S) with 37.

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