Indicating a tight race between BJP and Congress, most exit polls for the Karnataka Assembly elections today forecast a hung assembly with JD (S) likely to play the kingmaker, but were divided on which of the two national parties would emerge as the largest in the House. It said that JD (S) will win 30-39 seats and others 2-4 seats.
Meanwhile, Siddaramaiah after casting his vote told the media that he would form the Government in the State. "Please wait till May 15th afternoon (when the results would be out)", he remarked.
The exit polls on Saturday predicted a hung assembly in Karnataka with no political party winning a clear majority in the 225-member assembly. Voting in Bengaluru's Rajarajeshwari Nagar seat was deferred to May 28 after 9,896 voter ID cards were found in a city flat ahead of Saturday's voting. Jan Ki Baat also expected similar numbers as they calculated 105 seats for BJP, 78 for Congress and 37 for JD (S). The BJP leader was confident that his party would register a resounding victory in the state and usurp the reigning Congress government with an overwhelming majority.
The Congress' candidate is Karnataka chief minister K Siddaramaiah, who is running for re-election.
Over 2,600 candidates are in the fray - more than 2400 men and and over 200 women. "The state government followed the due process in setting up a panel to look into it but since it was submitted to the centre came just before the polls, there is a perception that it was a hasty move", he said, adding that while Rahul shared stage with Siddaramaiah, Modi completely overshadowed Yeddyurappa.
Blatant corruption, nepotism, aggressive Hindutva agenda and caste politics that overtook the election mood in Karnataka culminated on 12 May.
The Election Commission sent a deputy election commissioner as a "special observer" to Karnataka after recovery of almost 10,000 "fake" voter ID cards in Raj Rajeshwari Nagar Assembly.
From netas performing cow worship to determining direction of EVMs; old, disabled and transgenders waiting in queues to vote; and villagers opening their homes to help election staff, Karnataka elections displayed the amusing and heartwarming sides of people.
However, Bengaluru's adjacent constituencies top the charts, with Hosakote seeing a voter turnout of 89.97%, a marginal decrease from the 90.97% it had recorded in 2013 when it had recorded the state's highest turnout. Several first-time voters, aged 18-19, who comprise 15.42 lakh of Karnataka's 5.06 crore electorate, were spotted taking selfies with ink mark on their index finger after coming out of the polling booths.
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