A majority of exit polls have predicted the Karnataka assembly elections to produce a close contest between the Congress and the BJP with the JD(S) likely to play a key role in government formation if it chooses to align with either of the two national players.
While the India Today-Axis My India exit poll tipped Congress to emerge as the single largest party by winning 106-118 seats, the ABP News-C Voter Exit Poll predicted BJP to emerge leaders with 97-109 seats.
Of nine such exit polls, five show the BJP ahead while three are backing the Congress to emerge with the maximum seats.
The Times of India’s poll of exit polls at 7.15pm projected BJP was ahead on 99 seats, with Congress on 88 and JD(S) on 33. The NDTV poll of exit polls also threw up similar numbers with BJP winning 99 seats and the Congress 87.
Cong: 106-118, BJP: 72-76, JD(S): 25-30, Others: 4-8
Cong: 106 to 118; BJP: 79-92; JDS: 22-30; Others: 1-4
Cong: 90-103, BJP: 80-93, JD(S): 31-39
BJP: 97-109, Congress: 87–99, JDS: 21-30, Others: 1- 8
BJP: 102-106, Congress: 72-75, JDS: 35-38, Others: 3-6
BJP: 105-109, Congress: 71-75, JDS: 36-40, Others: 3-5
BJP: 103-107, Congress: 76-80, JDS: 31-35, Others: 04-08
Republic TV-Jan ki Baat
BJP: 95-114 , Cong: 73-82, JD(S): 32-43
The high-stakes Karnataka assembly elections saw a 70 per cent voter turnout today, the Election Commission said. The last assembly election in 2013 had witnessed 71.4 per cent polling, it said. The polling figure is likely to go up as some voters were still queued up at the polling stations after 6 pm.
In what is projected as a tight race, voting was held in 222 out of 224 seats in a three-cornered contest among the ruling Congress, the BJP and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda’s JD(S). Over 2,600 candidates are in the fray– more than 2400 men and over 200 women. There are a total of 5,06,90,538, voters of whom 2,56,75,579 male voters, 2,50,09,904 female and 5,055 transgender voters. Counting of votes will take place on May 15.
(with PTI inputs)