Exit polls on Wednesday (May 10) predicted a tight contest between the Congress and the BJP in the high-stakes Karnataka Assembly polls, with most pollsters giving an edge to the Grand Old Party.
India Today-Axis My India predicted a clear majority for the Congress with 122-140 seats in the 224-member assembly and gave the BJP 62-80 seats.
It gave 20-25 seats to the JD(S), the third major player in the race.
News 24-Today’s Chanakya also forecast a majority for the Congress with 120 seats as against 92 seats for the BJP and 12 for the JD(S).
While the ABP News-C Voter exit poll predicted that the Congress would get 100-112 seats, BJP 83-95, JD(S) 21-29, the Republic TV-P MARQ forecast that the Congress will get 94-108 seats, the BJP 85-100 and JD(S) 24-32.
The India TV-CNX exit polls gave the Congress 110-120 seats and the BJP 80-90 seats.
They predicted 20-24 seats for the JD (S).
The TV9 Bharatvarsh-Polstrat exit poll stated that the Congress is likely to get 99-109 seats, the BJP 88-98 and the JD(S) 21-26 while the Zee News-Matrize Agency predicted that the Congress would get 103-118, the BJP 79-94 and the JD(S) 25-33.
The News Nation-CGS poll said the BJP would get 114 seats, the Congress 86 and the JD(S) 21.
The Suvarna News-Jan Ki Baat forecast that the BJP was likely to win 94-117, Congress 91-106 and the JD(S) 14-24. Times Now-ETG exit polls gave 113 seats to the Congress and 85 to the BJP. It predicted 23 seats for JD (S).
Reacting to the predictions, the Congress tweeted, “As the exit polls roll in, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the Congress party is on track for a resounding victory.”
It tagged screenshots of exit polls by India Today-Axis My India and News 24-Todays Chanakya, both of which predicted a clear majority for the Congress. In the 2018 Assembly elections, the BJP emerged as the single largest party by winning 104 seats out of total 224, followed by the Congress at 80 and JD(S) at 37.
There was one independent member, while BSP and Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janata Party (KPJP) had one legislator each.
With no party having a clear majority and as the Congress and JD(S) were trying to forge an alliance, B S Yediyurappa of BJP staked a claim and formed the government. However, it had to resign within three days ahead of the trust vote, unable to muster the required numbers.
Subsequently, the Congress-JD(S) alliance formed the government with Kumaraswamy as CM, but the wobbly dispensation collapsed in 14 months as 17 legislators resigned and came out of the ruling coalition and defected to the BJP, facilitating it to come back to power.
In the by-polls held subsequently in 2019, the ruling party won 12 out of 15 seats. In the outgoing Assembly, BJP has 116 MLAs, followed by the Congress at 69, and JD(S) at 29.
(With Agency inputs)