Exit polls predict hung assembly in Karnataka, most show BJP in lead

PoliticsKarnataka Elections 2018 Opinion       Three essential Karnataka lessons for national politics
	      
       
         Shekhar Gupta         15 May 2018

In 2013, Karnataka registered a 71.3 per cent voter turnout, highest for the previous 35 years and a good increase compared to 64.8 per cent turnout in the 2008 assembly polls.

Asked if the party would approach the JD (S) for support to form the government in the event of a hung assembly verdict, he said that question does not arise at this point of time.

Earlier in the day, while BJP's CM candidate Yeddyurappa claimed that his party will bag over 125 seats, incumbent CM Siddaramaiah termed the exit polls a mere "weekend entertainment".

India Today-Axis My India surveyed 70,574 voters in all the 222 assemblies that went to polls.

Congress leader and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah also dismissed the exit polls.

Although the Congress and the JD (S) had shared the dais before and similar to the BJP, the alliance with the grand old party was also not successful, there were chances that both parties could once again come together to form a "secular" government.

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Many political pundits have predicted that counting of votes on May 12 will result in a hung assembly and JDS will emerge as the ultimate kingmaker.

While the JD (S) has played its cards close to the chest, news reports suggest that it may lean in favour of the BJP, but this is not a certainty.

Exit polls released by various news organisations and survey agencies on Saturday revealed the possibility of a hung assembly with a lot of them predicting that BJP will likely emerge as the single-largest party in the election.

Karnataka has an electorate of over 4.97 crores, including 2.52 crore men and 2.45 crore women. Soon after its exit poll predictions with VMR projected the Congress as the single largest party, the channel announced that it was going to broadcast another exit poll numbers. In these scenarios JD-s is seen as power broker in a divided house with around 30 seats.

The Congress had won 122 seats and the BJP 40 seats in the last Karnataka Assembly election in 2013.

He refused to discuss the negative comments by BJP leaders, especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP National President Amit Shah, and said the people have watched everything. In 2005, former Prime Minister Gowda had expelled Siddaramaiah from JD (S) and it was then that Siddaramaiah joined Congress.

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