The polling for the Karnataka Assembly elections concluded at 5 pm with the state recording a voter turnout of over 65 per cent on Wednesday, according to the Election Commission of India.
The results of the election will be declared on May 13.
Interestingly, as per the national media bulletins, most of the exit polls have given edge to the Congress, with three of them giving clear majority for the grand old party in a tight contest with the ruling BJP party.
According to India Today-Axis My India exit poll, Congress is expected to secure between 122 to 140 seats, while News24-Today’s Chanakya exit poll has projected that the grand old party will win 120 seats.
However, only one pollster–News Nation-CGS– has projected that the ruling BJP party would win majority in the 224-member House. Most of the polls predicted that the Janata Dal (Secular) [JD(S)] may get 20-odd seats. The party had won 37 seats in the 2018 elections. Karnataka is the first southern state where the BJP has been able to form a government and has never voted an incumbent government back to power after a full term of five years since 1970s, says a report by the Indian Express.
As the BJP, backed by a vigorous campaign led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeks to return to power, Congress is heading for a strong comeback ahead of the 2024 parliamentary elections.
Earlier in 2018, six out of eight major exit polls broadcast by six national television stations and one regional station predicted that the BJP would win the most seats in the new Assembly. But seven of them predicted a Hung assembly, for which neither the BJP nor the National Assembly could achieve a simple majority of 112 seats. These polls all suggest that JD(S) will be the kingmaker, with 20 to 40 seats expected.