Exit polls indicate hung assembly in Karnataka, give edge to BJP

NEW DELHI, May 12: Indicating a tight race between the BJP and the Congress, most exit polls for the Karnataka Assembly elections today forecast a hung assembly but gave the saffron party an edge with a possibility of the JD(S) 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 H D Deve Gowda-led JD(S) 37 and 20-29 seats respectively.

Polling was held today in 222 constituencies following the countermanding of election for the Jayanagara seat due to the death of BJP candidate B N Vijaykumar, and deferment of voting for R R 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 B S Yeddyurappa as its chief ministerial candidate. (PTI)