Modi seeks foothold in southern India with Karnataka state election

13 May, 2018, 00:30 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • High-octane campaign for Karnataka polls ends

"I thank them for their support and wish them well", People are lining up in Badami constituency where Cngress candidate for CM post Siddaramaiah is contesting against BJP's B Sriramulu. However, most pre-poll surveys have predicted a fractured mandate and suggested that former prime minister H D Deve Gowda's JD (S) may play the kingmaker's role.

Dakshina Karnataka district recorded the highest voter turnout with 16% votes registered until 9:30 AM, followed by Udupi district which recorded 15% turnout.

The election in Karnataka is considered crucial for the Congress Party, as it would be looking to prevent the BJP juggernaut from expanding its footprints in the south. Senior citizens were seen in good numbers standing in queues at various polling stations.

The BJP and its allies are now in power in 22 of India's 29 states, but after Karnataka, three more state elections will fall due by the end of the year. They want to remove the Siddaramaiah government from Karnataka. The exit poll has given BJP 38 per cent of the votes with 99-108 seats predicted for the Narendra Modi-led party, whereas Congress has been given 35 per cent of the votes with a win over 75-84 seats.

Will these be one-sided elections with either of the parties getting the majority or will it be a hung assembly? Chief Minister Siddaramaiahs welfare schemes seem to have worked for him. It should be noted that the Congress won 122 of the 224 seats in 2013 only because Yeddyurappa had contested separately under the rebel Karnataka Janata Party. The Election Commission (EC) also deferred the polls at Rajarajeswari Nagar to May 28 after a large number of voter ID cards was found from an apartment in the constituency.

Siddaramaiah, who is contesting from Chamundeshwari and Badami constituencies, told ANI that neither the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) BS Yeddyurappa nor Janata Dal (Secular) (JD-S) leader Kumaraswamy can become the chief minister of Karnataka.

The vote counting for Karnataka elections will be done on May 15.

Over 2,600 candidates are in the fray - more than 2,400 are men and over 200 are women.



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