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Record voter turnout sets up Karnataka election results for a photo finish

14 May, 2018, 06:05 | Author: Tara Roberts
  • Karnataka is the second state after Gujarat where Narendra Modi’s mass appeal has helped BJP perform well in assembly polls

He also said re-polling would take place at Hebbal assembly constituency's Lottegollahalli polling station on May 14 due to failure of an EVM. If they do combine to form the government, it could be at the cost of some top leaders; so, as of now, this looks quite improbable.

Karnataka polling is seen as a crucial test ahead of the Lok Sabha elections next year.

"Chief Minister has really hit the BJP where it matters the most - the Lingayat vote share". However, the polling percentage has decreased compared to the 2013 polls where 90.99% voters had turned up.

The election has largely been a triangular fight, with the Congress government trying hard to fend off BJP that brought in a posse of central ministers to campaign in the state. But analysts say that the party might be in for a rude shock as its aggressive Hindutva stance may backfire.

The election for the Jayanagara seat in Bengaluru was countermanded following the death of BJP candidate and sitting MLA BN Vijaykumar on 4 May.

On the BJP attacking former Union minister P. Chidambaram as regards the CBI filing chargesheets against his family members over alleged illegal assets, the Congress leader said, "If the defence minister (Nirmala Sitharaman) is speaking to the press and levelling such charges on a former minister, we would like her to answer questions about Rafale, Doklam.and frequent cross-border incursions and violence in Kashmir".

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While the Congress is interpreting the high turnout as demonstration of support for its administration, the BJP reads the numbers as an urge for a change.

Exit polls in Karnataka on Saturday suggest Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could emerge as the leading party, potentially boosting the prime minister's chances of winning a second term in general elections early next year. So, dear party workers, supporters and well wishers, don't worry about exit polls.

Meanwhile, Dasarahalli in Bengaluru Urban had the lowest voter turnout with only 48.03% of voters casting their vote. They put the Congress tally at 73-82 and 87-99, respectively, and saw JDS cornering 32-43 and 21-30 seats. JD (S) supremo Deve Gowda is learnt to be ready to go with the Congress without Siddaramaiah to prove his secular credentials, which might help him play a role in the national politics.

Commenting on Siddaramaiah's tweet that exit polls are entertainment for two days and Congress will form the government, the JD (S) leader said, "One may accept that these exit polls are entertainment for few TV channels, but his (Siddaramaiah) other claim is wrong".

Siddaramaiah's statement triggered speculation that Congress is anticipating a fractured verdict and is playing the Dalit card to negotiate a post-poll tie up with the JD (S).

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