Karnataka is heading for a hung assembly, seven of 10 exit polls have predicted. Two have predicted an outright victory for the Congress and one for the BJP. Those expecting a hung house also indicated that HD Kumaraswamy's Janata Dal Secular is likely to play the kingmaker. The majority mark in the 224-seat assembly stands at 113 seats.
Two exit polls — India Today-Axis My India and Times-Now ETG — have predicted the possibility of an outright Congress victory. India TV-CNX and Zee News-Matrize have given an upper limit exceeding 113 to the Congress. News Nation-CGS have predicted a BJP victory, and Suvarna News-Jan Ki Baat has predicted an upper limit of 117 for the BJP.
Exit polls do not always get it right.
News Nation-CGS has predicted that the state’s ruling BJP will cross the majority mark with 114 seats, the Congress will win 86 seats and the JD(S) 21.
The Suvarna News-Jan Ki Baat has also given an edge to the BJP, predicting it will emerge as the single largest party with anything between 94 and 117 seats. The Congress, it said, will get 91-106 seats and the JD(S) 14-24 seats.
Five other exit polls are counting on a Congress win or a pole position as the single largest party.
India Today-Axis My India is expecting the Congress to win 122 to 140 seats and the BJP to get 62-80 seats.
Times Now-ETG is predicting the Congress will touch the majority mark — barely. It predicts the party will win 113 seats and the BJP will get 85. Twenty-three seats will go to the Janata Dal Secular, it has predicted.
News 24-Today’s Chanakya has predicted 120 seats (Plus/Minus 11 seats) for the Congress and 92 (Plus/Minus 11 seats) for the BJP. The JD(S), it said, will get 12 (Plus/Minus 7) seats.
The Republic TV-P MARQ has predicted that the BJP will win 85-100 of the 224 assembly seats, the Congress will win 94-108 and the JD(S) 24-32 seats.
The TV 9-Bharatvansh-Polstrat predicted 88-98 seats for the BJP, 99-109 seats for the Congress and 21-26 seats for the JD(S).
The Zee News Matrize has predicted 79-94 seats for the BJP and 103-118 seats for the Congress and 25-33 seas for the JD(S).
ABP News-C Voter are expecting the BJP to win 83-95 seats and the Congress 100 to 112 seats. The JD(S) it expects will win between 21 and 29 seats.
India TV-CNX is also giving the Congress an edge with 110 to 120 seats and 80 to 90 seas to the BJP. The JD(S), it predicted, will get 21 to 29 seats.
The triangular contest for Karnataka ended this evening. The counting of votes will be held on Saturday.
The Congress and HD Kumaraswamy had partnered in 2018 to keep the BJP out of power. The alliance government had lasted a little over a year before collapsing as MLAs from both parties joined the BJP in an alleged Operation Lotus. Their earlier alliance in 2004 had collapsed as well.
This time, both parties have brushed off the possibility of entering an alliance.
In 2006, Mr Kumaraswamy has tied up with the BJP but the government lasted for less than a year before President’s rule was declared in the state.
The government had collapsed after Mr Kumaraswamy, who was the Chief Minister, refused to hand over the top post to BS Yeddiyurappa, who was his deputy. To retaliate, the BJP had withdrawn support, reducing the Kumaraswamy government to a minority.