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

It remains to be seen if the Congress can retain similar results this time around or if the state would swing along to the exit polls favouring the BJP. The leadership is determined to stop BJP from coming to power and the compulsions of cozying up to JD (S) to keep BJP out is likely to dominate the deliberations on Monday.

The ABP-C exit poll suggests that the BJP will get 97-109 seats, the Congress 87-99 seats and the JD (S) 21-30 seats.

Incidentally, Deve Gowda has refused to make any statement before the poll results are declared, while his son H.D. Kumaraswamy, has flown to Singapore with his actor-son Nikhil Kumar. At least that is what the party state leaders believe.

Meanwhile BJP's Chief Ministerial candidate Yeddyurappa and incumbent Congress Chief Minister Siddaramaiah are confident of forming the next government in the state. After the customary morning puja, Yeddyurappa was a busy man on Sunday, gathering every minute detail on the prospects of candidates in every constituency.

BJP's spokesperson Malavika Avinash told India Today that there has been trouble brewing within the Congress party for a long time now.

The Karnataka assembly elections result may be taking place whole India, but the vote could have huge ramifications for central government employees. When Kumaraswamy withdrew support from the Dharam Singh government, Deve Gowda shot off a letter to the then-governor T.N. Chaturvedi, saying that "no credence should be given to the letter submitted by a section of MLAs from the party withdrawing support".

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A victory in Karnataka will also reflect the enduring charisma of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his capacity to power his party to victory across the country, clearing demographic and topographical obstacles. The corollary is that if Congress holds its ground JD (S) will be shorn of shine.

While both parties-the BJP and the Congress-are latching on to Basava and his verses or vachanas with the JD (S) on the margins, it is the litany of petitions before the courts and the Election Commissions that have changed the face of the assembly polls.

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

Yeddyurappa said his calculations had never gone wrong in his political career and he expected the BJP to win 125 to 130 seats.

Asked if he aspired to enter national politics, Mr Siddaramaiah said, "Even if Brahma says so, I will not contest elections again".

In 2006, Deve Gowda nearly expelled Kumaraswamy for going with the BJP.

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