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Karnataka Election: Siddaramaiah Dismisses Exit Polls as 'Entertainment', Tells Cong Workers to Relax

Tweeting a day after Karnataka recorded 70% turnout in Assembly elections, Siddaramaiah said the Congress would return to power.

Updated:May 14, 2018, 10:20 PM IST
Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday asked Congress workers and supporters not to worry about exit polls, most of which predicted a hung Assembly, dismissing the post-poll surveys as “entertainment”.

Tweeting a day after Karnataka recorded 70% turnout in Assembly elections, Siddaramaiah said the Congress would return to power.

Most exit polls have predicted a tight race between the Congress and the BJP with the possibility of the Janata Dal (Secular) emerging as the kingmaker. Republic TV-Jan Ki Baat and ABP-C Voter predicted that the BJP will emerge as the single largest party by bagging 104 and 104-116 seats, respectively, in the 224-member House.

The two news channels gave the incumbent Congress 78 and 83-94 seats and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda-led JD(S) 37 and 20-29 seats, respectively.

Polling was held on Saturday in 222 constituencies following the countermanding of election for the Jayanagara seat due to the death of BJP candidate BN Vijaykumar, and deferment of voting for RR Nagar seat after a massive row erupted over a large number of voter ID cards being found in a Bengaluru apartment.

Any party or alliance will need the support of 112 MLAs to form the new government.

India Today-Axis exit poll, however, put the Congress in a pole position and predicted its tally in the range of 106-118 seats while of the BJP between 79-92. It saw the JD(S) tally between 22-30 seats. The Poll of Exit Polls on NDTV forecast 97, 90 and 31 seats for the BJP, the Congress and the JD(S) respectively.

Times Now-VMR predicted that the BJP will win 94 seats while the Congress will bag 97 and the JD(S) 28. However, Times Now-Chanakya forecast a majority for the BJP with 120 seats and gave the Congress and the JD(S) 73 and 26 seats, respectively.

The Congress had won 122 seats in the 2013 state Assembly polls following a split in the BJP, which was reduced to 40 seats while the JD(S) also got 40 seats.

Both the BJP and the Congress ran a high-decibel campaign in the state with Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the saffron charge with 21 rallies while Rahul Gandhi and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah led their bid to ensure that it defies anti-incumbency to retain power.

The BJP has declared BS Yeddyurappa as its chief ministerial candidate.

(With PTI inputs)

| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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