The scion of the erstwhile Mysuru royal family, Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, waits in a queue to cast his ballot during Karnataka Assembly elections in Mysore on Saturday. (Source: PTI)

Karnataka Elections: Exit Polls Predict Split Verdict With BJP In The Lead

The Mandate In Karnataka

Karnataka could return a split verdict with the Bharatiya Janata Party as the single largest party and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda a kingmaker, an aggregate of five exit polls show.

The poll of exit polls say the BJP will get 100 seats and the Congress 90 seats – considerably below the 113 needed for majority for the 222 seats on which elections were held today. It gives 30 seats to the JD(S). The counting of votes will take place on Tuesday.

Four exit polls – the ABP News - C Voter, News X-CNX and Republic TV-Jan Ki Baat suggested that the BJP will gain above 100 seats or more. One exit poll says the BJP has a chance of gaining majority. The ABP News - C Voter has given the BJP an outside limit of 113 seats.

However, these are only indicative numbers and counting of votes will take place on May 15.

Polling was held in 222 constituencies of the 224-member assembly as elections in two constituencies were been countermanded – in Jayanagara, following the death of BJP candidate and sitting MLA BN Vijaykumar – and in Rajrajeshwari Nagar after thousands of voter cards were seized from a flat in the area.

Sanjay Pugalia and Tamanna Inamdar explain what the exit polls show. BK Hariprasad of the Congress, Sudesh Verma of the BJP and Premchand Palety of the Cfore also joined the show

The Latest Numbers, As Of 7:40 PM

  • Times Now - VMR: BJP 100, Congress 88, JD(S) 32, Others 2
  • India Today- My India Axis: Congress 106-118, BJP 79-92, JD(S) 22-30, Others 1-4
  • Republic-Jan Ki Baat: BJP 95-114, Congress 73-82, , JD(S) 32-43
  • ABP - CVoter: BJP 101-113, Congress 82-94, , JD(S) 18-31
  • NewsX - CNX: BJP 102-110, Congress 72-78, JD(S) 35-39

ABP News-CVoter Predicts BJP In The Lead

ABP News-CVoter has predicted 101 to 113 seats for BJP, while it has given Congress 82-94 seats. It has estimated JD(S) will win 18-31 seats only. These are provisional numbers as of 4 pm and may be revised based on final voting data.

NewsX-CNX Predicts BJP Will Be Single Largest Party

NewsX-CNX has projected 102 to 110 seats for the BJP, 72 to 78 seats for the Congress and 35 to 39 for JD(S).

Times Now-VMR

The Congress is likely to win 90 to 103 seats in Karnataka, says Times Now-VMR exit poll. It has predicted 80 to 93 seats for the BJP and 31 to 39 for JD(S).

The Congress is seen gathering 38.4 percent of all votes polled in Karnataka, according to the poll.

Republic TV Predicts BJP Win

Republic TV-Jan ki Baat, on the other hand, has forecasted that BJP will form its second government in Karnataka. It has given 95 to 114 seats for the BJP and 73 to 82 seats for Congress. It has predicted JD(S) will win 32 to 43 seats.

India Today-Axis My India

The Congress is being projected to remain in power in Karnataka, according to the India Today - Axis My India Exit Poll. The exit poll is estimating the Congress to get between 106 and 118 seats, well past the 113-seat majority mark in the 224-member assembly.

India Today-Axis My India predicts 22 to 30 seats for Janata Dal (Secular), 1 to 4 seats for others, and 79 to 92 seats for BJP.

Voting has ended in 222 seats in Karnataka. Repolling has been ordered in two booths.

Voter Turnout Recorded At 70% So Far, Says Election Commission

Total turnout figure recorded till 6 pm in Karnataka is 70 percent, the Election Commission said.

Exit Polls Awaited

Election Commission says polling completed in almost all polling stations.

Polling Ends In Karnataka

Polling ends in Karnataka. Over 64 percent turnout has been recorded till 5 pm, state electoral officials told PTI.

Sanjiv Kumar, Chief Electoral Officer for Karnataka, will address a press conference at 8 pm. Stay tuned for the exit polls.

Just Over 61% Voter Turnout At 5 PM, Says ANI

Who Said What

This is what Karnataka’s top political leaders said after casting their votes today.

Also Read: Five Key Contests To Watch Out For In The Battle For Karnataka

Re-Polling To Take Place In Hebbal Booth Number 2

Re-polling to take place in Hebbal assembly constituency's polling station number 2 after voting was stopped due to EVM failure.

Rains Lash Hubli

While high temperatures were reported from some areas in Karnataka (in Kalburagi it was 43 degrees celsius), rains lashed parts of Hubli affecting voting.

Centenarian Seer Casts Vote

Age did not deter the highly revered Shivakumar Mahaswamiji, senior seer of the Siddaganga Math at Tumakuru, who is said to be 111-years-old, from exercising his franchise in the Karnataka assembly elections, PTI reported.

The seer came by car to the polling booth inside the Math, slowly walked inside and cast his vote. The senior-most pontiff of the powerful and politically influential Lingayats, the majority community, has reportedly never given a miss to voting in the elections.

Also Read: Explained: Demand for a Lingayat Religion & the Politics Around it

Majority Of Tarkaspet Villagers Boycott Elections

Voter Turnout At 56% Till 3 pm

43-Degree Celsius Temperature Affects Voter Turnout In Kalaburgi

Siddaramaiah Confident Of Congress Victory

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the Congress will come back to power with a clear majority and dubbed his political rival, BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa, as “mentally disturbed” for his claim that he would form the next government in the state.

Congress will get the clear majority. There is no confusion about this. We are very confident that Congress will come back to power with clear majority.
Siddaramaiah, Karnataka Chief Minister
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah shows his ink stained finger after voting in the Karnataka Assembly elections 2018, at Hundi village in Mysore on Saturday. (Source: PTI)
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah shows his ink stained finger after voting in the Karnataka Assembly elections 2018, at Hundi village in Mysore on Saturday. (Source: PTI)

Also Read: Karnataka Elections 2018: Can Siddaramaiah Break A 30-Year Trend?

He accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP for the income tax raids were ordered against Congress workers and well-wishers. That was out of desperation because the saffron party was sure of losing the election, Siddaramaiah said, according to a report in newswire agency PTI.

He also dismissed the BJP’s allegations that the Congress misused government machinering during the assembly polls.

Siddaramaiah was speaking to reporters in Varuna consituency in Mysuru from where his son is contesting, Siddaramaiah is contesting from Chamundeshwari constituency in Mysuru apart from Badami in north Karnataka.

Voter Turnout Increases To 37%

Many Firsts In Karnataka Polls

The Karnataka assembly elections are marked by several firsts.

All-women managed “Pink Booths” have been set up and third-generation Electronic Voting Machines are being used, according to a PTI report. The ‘M3 EVMs’ are tamper proof and stops functioning when attempts are made to meddle with it.

Voters stand in a queue at a “Pink Booth” to cast their votes for Karnataka Assembly election 2018 at a polling station in Mangaluru, Karnataka. (Source: PTI)
Voters stand in a queue at a “Pink Booth” to cast their votes for Karnataka Assembly election 2018 at a polling station in Mangaluru, Karnataka. (Source: PTI)

Citizens Speak

Former Infosys director Mohandas Pai said that the upcoming government should look into the civic issues first and give the people better governance.

“Amend the law and give us a full-time locally-elected mayor besides providing for better roads, sewage treatment, increased safety, unrestricted water supply,” Pai added.

Job Creation: Prime Agenda

The next government should focus on job creation while addressing the strengths of the state, said Kris Gopalakrishnan, co-founder of Infosys Ltd. The state’s strength lies in startup, innovation, artificial intelligence ecosystems, he added.

Bengaluru is in dire need for better infrastructure, said Gopalakrishnan adding that investments will continue to flow in only when the city can support more people and offices. “We've seen some improvement over the last few years, that needs to be sustained.”

The innovation, research and development ecosystem in Bengaluru needs to be supported as that will contribute to job creation in the future.
Kris Gopalakrishnan, Co-founder, Infosys

Elections-A Mandate For Change

BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that the assembly elections are about a decisive change.

He criticised the Siddaramaiah government saying that Karnataka got pushed to a corner under his rule. “We need a different kind of governance where the party in power listens to the people are is sensitive to their needs.” A crackdown on corruption and vested interests of select individuals should be the agenda, he added.

Healthy Voter Turnout

A voter turnout of 24 percent has been registered till 11 AM, according to news agency ANI.

Bengaluru residents after casting their vote. (Source: Nishant Sharma/BloombergQuint)
Bengaluru residents after casting their vote. (Source: Nishant Sharma/BloombergQuint)
Bengaluru residents after casting their vote. (Source: Nishant Sharma/BloombergQuint)
Bengaluru residents after casting their vote. (Source: Nishant Sharma/BloombergQuint)

H.D. Deve Gowda Casts His Vote

Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda exercised his franchise in the Holenarasipura town of Hassan district. “We expect to form a government as we have done well,” Gowda, who is also the National President of JD(S) told ANI.

JD(S) leader H. D. Deve Gowda casts his vote at polling booth no.244 in Holenarasipura town in Hassan district. (Source: ANI)
JD(S) leader H. D. Deve Gowda casts his vote at polling booth no.244 in Holenarasipura town in Hassan district. (Source: ANI)

Karnataka Minister KJ George also cast his vote in Bengaluru. He is contesting from the Sarvagnanagar constituency.

Voting In Bengaluru

BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar casts his vote at Karnataka Reddyjana Sangha in Bengaluru’s Koramangala. (Source)
BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar casts his vote at Karnataka Reddyjana Sangha in Bengaluru’s Koramangala. (Source)

Big Faces Cast Their Vote

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s chief ministerial candidate, BS Yeddyurappa has already cast his vote. Union Minister and BJP leader Sadananda Gowda has also exercised his franchise.

BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa casts his vote in Shikarpur. (Source: ANI)      
BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa casts his vote in Shikarpur. (Source: ANI)     
Union Minister Sadananda Gowda casting his vote in Puttur. (Source: ANI) 
Union Minister Sadananda Gowda casting his vote in Puttur. (Source: ANI) 

Polling Begins

Polling has begun in 222 out of the 224 constituencies in Karnataka, giving nearly 5 crore voters the right to exercise their franchise.

People queue up at a polling booth in Badami constituency. (Source: ANI)
People queue up at a polling booth in Badami constituency. (Source: ANI)

Why Karnataka Matters

After three months of campaigning, Karnataka finally heads to polls today. The southern state, home to India's Silicon Valley, is one of the last remaining bastions for the Indian National Congress. While the rest of the country has been swept away by the saffron wave, Karnataka remains important for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party.

The three-cornered contest includes the ruling Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda's Janata Dal (Secular).

Various issues at play in the state. Besides the agrarian distress, water woes and urban decay, the issue of preserving the Kannada culture has been put on centrestage by the three parties.

Also Read: Karnataka Polls: What Bengaluru Voters Want From This Election

The results will be an early indicator of the voter sentiment ahead of the general election next year. Even with two former and one incumbent state chief minister in the fray, the campaign had been dominated by national leaders, in particular, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi. By securing a victory in Karnataka, the BJP can further its 'Congress-Mukt Bharat' agenda. It would also serve as a gateway to South India for Modi.

Karnataka, along with Kerala, are the only two states that don't give incumbents a second chance. Power in Karnataka has been a see-saw that's swung every election since 1985. Will the Congress be able to hold Karnataka, delivering a blow to Modi's ambitions, or will the BJP prove yet again that it continues to have popular support?

Also Read: Five Key Contests To Watch Out For In The Battle For Karnataka

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