Karnataka records 70 per cent voter turnout

People stand in a queue to cast their vote for Karnataka assembly elections in Bengaluru on Saturday

People stand in a queue to cast their vote for Karnataka assembly elections in Bengaluru on Saturday

The three parties are the main parties in the fray, with the Congress trying to get a second term.

All exit polls gave the Janata Dal (Secular) almost two dozen seats or more, which could make it the kingmaker if there is a hung Assembly. The Axis My India survey put INC's vote share at 39%, a jump from 36.5% in the 2013 Assembly elections.

Karnataka elections were held today for 222 seats because polling for one seat was cancelled because of the death of the BJP nominee whereas polling for one other seat was postponed to May 28.

He further tweeted, "So, dear party workers, supporters and well wishers, don't worry about exit polls. We also want to give BJP a chance in the state because it can work in tandem with the Union government", said Arun Patil, a salesman at a jewellery shop in Puttur assembly constituency of Dakshin Kannada district.

If indeed the Congress manages a verdict in its favour, it would be the first time since its historic defeat in the 2014 general elections that the party has retained a state.

The elections saw a 70 percent voter turnout today, the Election Commission said here.

Counting will take place on May 15.

A win for the Congress would boost the party's morale for the assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram in November-December, and for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The exit poll predicts that the BJP is set to bag 102 to 110, thereby fortifying its position in the state. Sources said BJP is confident that they will sweep coastal Karnataka and Mumbai-Karnataka. "Barring a few polling stations, voting has been completed at nearly all". In the case of JD (S), the numbers swing between 22 and 40. According to the exit poll report, the BJP will get 95-114 seats, while the Congress will remain confined to 73-82 seats.

Karnataka chief ministerial candidate B.S. Yeddyurappa on Sunday said that his party would resister resounding victory in the state and decimated the Congress government with an overwhelming majority. A total of 222 are from the Congress and BJP each, 201 from JD-S, 1,155 Independents and 800 from other national, regional and fringe parties.

Times Now, often perceived to be a pro-government channel, posted a series of tweets in the run up to its broadcast of the exit polls all throughout the day. They predicted 80-93 and 79-82 seats for the BJP respectively. According to the ABP-C Voter exit poll, BJP is likely to emerge as the single largest party in Karnataka.

While it has emerged as a strong force in the last one-and-a-half decades in Belagavi with the politically influential Jarkiholi and Katti families entering its fold, the BJP may not do as well in Vijayapura where it has merely one seat against the Congress's seven and in Uttara Kananda, where it has one seat against five of the Congress. The party, which has 10 seats out of 18 in its kitty in Belagavi now, is expected to retain all and increase its tally by one or two more.

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