So after all the hullabaloo, the elections to the Karnataka’s legislative assembly have finally come to a close, with a 70% voter turnout registered for the 222 seats out of a total of 224 assembly seats. Much like Gujarat, this is more of a battle of prestige for the two main parties, i.e. BJP and Congress, than just another electoral contest.
While BJP is looking forward to begin their campaign for the upcoming general elections of 2019, Congress is trying to save its last major bastion by hook or by crook, resorting to several tricks. But that is for another day.
As per the sources of Election Commission, more than 70% of the voters turned out to register their vote for their respective candidates in the various constituencies of Karnataka. This might be slightly less than the previous figure of 71%, as registered in 2013 elections, but it doesn’t take into account the remaining two seats, that shall be contested much after the results are declared on the 15th of May.
While each party has made their claims known, what is the real picture? Is Siddaramaiah, the incumbent Chief Minister, making a comeback despite his years of minority appeasement and maladministration? Or has B.S. Yedyurappa finally made a dent on his electoral aspirations with a legendary comeback? Can the Kumarasamy led JD (S) play the role of the kingmaker? These are a few things only the actual results can answer on the 15th of May. But for now, the exit polls can paint a close to realistic picture of the electoral chances.
While the numbers furnished by the exit polls are varied, three common factors emerge, as given below:
1. Almost the majority root for BJP’s resurgence in Karnataka ; some give it a majority, the rest predict a hung assembly with BJP as the single largest party.
2. Very few surveys are still optimistic about Congress comeback.
3. JD (S]) led by HD Devegowda and his son Kumarasamy, are likely to be a kingmakers.
A majority of news agencies are rooting for BJP’s legendary comeback, though they’ve tried to play safe by refusing to give BJP a simple majority. While outlets like News Nation, Vijayvani, News X CNX, Republic – Jan Ki Baat, have declared BJP as the single largest party, agencies like ABP News C Voter, Times Now – Today’s Chanakya etc. have wholeheartedly backed BJP’s return to power, with at least 120 seats in hand.
Of course, there are a few folks like the Karnataka based Suvarna exit polls and the India Today exit polls, which have rooted for Congress’ comeback. They’ve given Congress a minimum of 99 seats, completely ignoring the effect of the recent incidents, including the insulting barbs of Siddaramaiah, as well as the Congress President Rahul Gandhi, that can very well reduce a significant chunk of seats from their kitty. However, it is here that the fate of the third party, JD(S), gains significance.
Led by ex Prime Minister HD Devegowda, every exit poll has certified their potential position of a kingmaker. While most of the analysts have their own figures, and some even root for a Congress or JD (S) coalition, it is quite unlikely that HD Devegowda would resort to such a foolhardy step, unless he wants to give competition to Nitish Kumar.
So if the BJP is to make a comeback to power, they need to either garner enough to gain a simple majority, or atleast win a minimum of 90+ seats, so that even if JD (S) wins 30-35 seats, it can be still enough to keep the Congress out of power. Till then, all fingers are crossed for the ultimate result, to be declared on 15th of May, which would decide the fates of BJP and Congress with respect to the 2019 elections. The clock is ticking.