Siddaramaiah anxious as BJP wave seeps Karnataka: Shah

Rahul Gandhi with Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah

The Election Commission (EC) on Friday said that the purported leak of the Karnataka Assembly poll dates before the official announcement was "mere speculation" and "avoidable".

The poll predicts that the Congress, which had managed to win well above the magic number of 113 in the 2013 elections, will fail to reach the majority mark this time. As for the Congress, the poll said thaty it will retain its vote share of 37 percent, same as 2013, but its seat tally may come down from 122 to in the region of 91-101. BJP, which won 40 seats in 2013, is likely to nearly double its tally winning 78 to 86 seats.

The survey suggests that the JD (S), with 34-43 seats, will be in a position to align with any of the national parties to be part of the ruling coalition.

However, if HD Deve Gowda is to be believed, the JD (S) won't form an alliance with either of the Congress or the BJP in case of a hung assembly.

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The committee was constituted by the Election Commission to probe how information on the Karnataka Assembly poll dates was aired by two TV news channels on March 27 even before Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat had made an announcement in the regard. Out of all the interviews, 62 per cent were conducted in rural areas, the remaining in urban centres.

Last month, the Commission had constituted a committee of senior officers to investigate the matter related to a tweet by BJP IT Cell Head, a Karnataka Congress leader and others tweets regarding Karnataka assembly elections schedule allegedly before the announcement of poll schedule by the Commission. Support for giving the party a second chance is particularly high among Muslims (65 percent). Also, a 45% felt that the Congress should be given another chance in government. More than half of Kubras (55%) and Dalits (53%) believe that the Congress deserves a second chance. About 59 per cent voters said that they were with the government on the issue while 29 per cent opposed the move.

Following a meeting with Mr. Gandhi, the Chief Minister's office set out a WhatsApp message saying that Mr. Siddaramaiah would file his nomination papers from the Chamundeshwari constituency on April 20 and from Badami on April 23.

About 38 per cent of people have rated the performance of Siddaramaiah as very good or good while another 31 per cent have rated it average. As Kumaraswamy had been vocal against the Congress government at various occasions in the last five years, his campaign has been mainly centered on criticising Siddaramaiah's government.

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