Exit polls predict hung assembly in Karnataka

Exit polls predict hung  assembly in Karnataka
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NEW DELHI, May 12: In Karnataka, exit polls projected BJP emerging as the single largest party and Congress failing to buck the 30-year-long trend of anti-incumbency. However, the saffron party will not get a clear majority, resulting in a hung assembly with JD(S) likely to play kingmaker.
Most exit polls indicated that no party will clear the halfway mark, much less the frequently trumpeted claim of 150 seats, in the 224-member legislative assembly.
The poll of exit polls showed the BJP in the lead with 103 seats, beating out the Congress which is expected to secure 86 seats, down from 122 in the 2013 assembly polls. The JD(S)-BSP combine will clinch 31 seats, with other parties getting the remaining two seats.
Soon after voting ended in the single-phase Karnataka election, Times Now-VMR exit poll said the ruling Congress may emerge as the largest party in the state, with 90-103 seats. The BJP will be in second place with 80-93 seats and the JD(S) likely to get 31-39 seats.
Similarly, the Axis My India exit poll forecast a second term for chief minister Siddaramaiah, with the Congress bagging 106-118 seats, as opposed to 79-82 seats for the BJP.
In contrast, Today’s Chanakya predicted a clear majority for the saffron party, with a projected seat share of 120 for BJP, 73 for Congress and 26 for JD(S).
The Jan Ki Baat and C-Voter exit polls indicated that the BJP will emerge as the largest party by getting 95-114 and 97-109 seats respectively.
They pegged the Congress party’s tally at 73-82 and 87-99 respectively with the former prime minister H D Deve Gowda-led JD(S) predicted to get 32-43 and 21-30 seats.
CNX predicted 106 seats for the BJP, 75 for the Congress, 37 for the JD(S) and four for others.
The high-stakes Karnataka assembly elections saw a 70 per cent voter turnout today. Polling was held for 222 of the 224 assembly seats and over 2,600 candidates are in the fray. Counting of votes will take place on May 15.
Both the BJP and the Congress ran a spirited campaign in the state with Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the saffron charge with 21 rallies, while Rahul Gandhi and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah led the Congress’ bid to ensure that it defies anti-incumbency to retain power. The BJP has declared B S Yeddyurappa as its chief ministerial candidate. (Agencies)