Postmortem Karnataka polls: Did Lingayat minority card backfire on Congress?

14 May, 2018, 06:07 | Author: Lynette Payne
  • People stand in a queue to cast their vote for Karnataka assembly elections in Bengaluru on Saturday

However, before the formal announcement of the results, several agencies conducted exit polls, predicting the outcome. "Relax & enjoy your weekend", he tweeted on Sunday.

"Exit polls are entertainment for the next 2 days".

He did not give further details saying, "We will come back to you once again with all details".

The chief minister dismissed the possibility of a similar scenario this time around. "I can not talk about what may happen later based on assumptions or exit poll verdicts", he said pointing out that exit polls have proved wrong in the past too and even in 2013, when exit polls came out with similar findings. In this region, the Congress has 31 seats and the BJP 13, but with the Reddy Brothers and Sriramulu now part of the BJP, the party expects to perform better. "There is public anger against Siddaramaiah and the Congress".

BJP state chief and its chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa said his party is headed towards a landslide victory with the support of the people.

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"This will be known when the results would be declared on Tuesday".

In fact, several other analysts say there are merits in Mr Karangi's observation as many Congress leaders were uncomfortable with the "minority card" move - that too just few months before the assembly polls.

Congress leaders in politically crucial hubs like Badami, Mudhol and Jamkhandi admitted that to a "large extent", the party's move on Lingayats was "hasty" as several community leaders and people at large realised that the decision was chiefly going against the interest of the' Veerashaivas'. There is no question of a hung Assembly. Eight major polls Saturday predicted a median 26 seats for the party - with the higher end of the predicted range in some polls reaching 35-40 - a critical mass in a situation in which almost every poll sees both the Congress and the BJP falling short of the halfway mark of 112. If they do combine to form the government, it could be at the cost of some top leaders; so, as of now, this looks quite improbable. The CM said he was confident of Congress getting a majority, and he would continue for a second term. "We are 100 per cent sure of forming the government on May 17", he said.

The Prajana News channel has shown BJP having chance of winning 102 to 110 seats followed by Congress at between 76 to 80 while JD (S) winning possibly 35 to 39 seats.

A 70 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the high-stakes Karnataka Assembly polls on Saturday, the Election Commission (EC) said.

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