The Congress is heading for a slender majority in Karnataka and may get 114 of the 224 assembly seats, says a CNN-IBN-Deccan Herald-CSDS pre-poll survey. Yet the voters’ preference for a chief minister is not a Congressman but the BJP’s BS Yediyurappa.
The former CM has the support of 27 per cent of the sampled voters — a 5 per cent lead over his nearest rival, the JD-S’s HD Kumaraswamy. The Congress’s SM Krishna is third with 16 per cent.
The BJP and JD-S are expected to lose considerable ground in the state, suggesting the former doesn’t appear to have gained much from the voters’ sympathy at the way the government was brought down. But with 33 per cent saying they are still undecided, the contest is open.
Conducted in April, the survey says the Congress would gain 49 seats since the 2004 elections. The BJP, which will lose 19 seats, is projected to win 60 this time. The JD-S is expected to get 37 — a decline of 21 from its previous tally.
The survey, carried out among 5,124 registered voters, suggests the BSP, contesting all 224 seats, will get just 2 per cent of the votes. The JD-U, a coalition partner of the BJP in the last elections, is likely to be an insignificant player.
Significantly, 54 per cent of JD-S supporters want Kumaraswamy to politically disassociate himself from father HD Deve Gowda. Thirty-five per cent voted the Kumaraswamy government as the best in recent times, ahead of the Krishna regime (24 per cent) or the Dharam Singh government (14 per cent).