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


Indicating a tight race between the BJP and the Congress, most exit polls for the Karnataka Assembly elections forecast a hung assembly but gave the saffron party an edge with a possibility of the JD (S) emerging as the kingmaker.

Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda asserted that his Janata Dal (Secular) would emerge as the victor as people were desperate for a change.

The contesting political parties have kept their fingers crossed until Tuesday when the actual counting will take place.

Both Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that has dominated Indian politics since independence, have campaigned hard in Karnataka, a state of 66 million people with diverse constituencies. On the other hand, Times Now-VMR said the Congress will win 90-103 seats in karnataka elections 2018. "And finally, to all the workers of the Congress party - I am indebted to you for all your efforts", chief minister Siddaramaiah said in a tweet. Exit polls have predicted mixed results, with the odd swinging in BJP's favour.

Around 64 percent of voters exercised their franchise as polling for the Assembly elections was held on Saturday.

The Congress had won 122 seats last time following a split in the BJP, which was reduced to 40 seats while the JD (S) also got 40 seats. Prior to the 2008 elections, Bachegowda was a JD (S) candidate and the polls were fought between Congress and JD (S), with Bachegowda joining the BJP in 2008, the BJP made inroads into one constituency in Bengaluru Rural.

While exit polls are often seen to be more indicative of the final results compared to opinion polls in the run-up to elections, of late, things have gone strikingly wrong for many pollsters.

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Opinion polls have forecast neither the BJP or Congress would emerge as a clear victor when Karnataka finalizes the poll results on May 15.

This sure was a signal to Congress that BJP smells a victory and they will leave no stone unturned.

Following the arrest of a BJP worker in Hebbal area of Bangalore for threatening the voters to not dare cast their votes before the local BJP MLA Narayanaswamy had cast his, the poll staff were abused by Narayanaswamy, according to a News 18 report.

The channel's on-air graphics changed spectacularly as soon as it became clear that the BJP was trailing behind Congress in the exit poll predictions.

Voting in 223 of the 225 Assembly constituencies of the state will be held on May 12. Four others said Congress will be ahead of the BJP.

Overall, Bengaluru continued its poor show on polling day, with Bengaluru South recording a disappointing 52.8%, while Bengaluru North didn't fare any better with only 53.21% voters queuing up on Saturday.