An estimated 70.23% of the 43.6 million voters cast their ballots Sunday in the 14th Karnataka assembly elections.
Exit polls indicate that the BJP is set to lose its only southern bastion with the Congress being tipped to come back to power after a hiatus of seven years. Poll predictions put BJP’s tally at half of Congress’ while JD(S) is expected to emerge as the third largest party to be followed by BS Yeddyurappa’s KJP.
A total of 2,948 candidates from various parties are contesting the polls, results for which will be out on May 8.
As per estimates by CNN-IBN, Congress is likely to get 110 to 116 seats in the 223-member House, while ruling BJP as well as JD(S) may get between 43 and 53 seats.
Headlines Today gave Congress a wafer thin majority with 114 seats and BJP 55 seats. JD(S) may bag 34 seats while KJP may end up with 11 seats.
Hindi channel ABP news gave Congress 110 to 118 seats and claimed BJP is likely to get 51 to 59 seats. JD(S) was predicted to get 31 to 37 seats while KJP 9 to 13 seats.
In the current Assembly, BJP has 110 MLAs -- three short of majority -- and rules the state with help of five Independent. Congress has 80 seats and JD(S) 28.
The Congress has fielded 224 candidates while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has given tickets to 223 candidates.
Anil Kumar Jha, Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka, said voters came out in full force in rural areas compared to cities. At 5 pm, Hassan district registered 71.60% voter turnout and Bidar district registered a low polling of 48.50%. Around 52% voted in Bangalore.
Polling remained relatively peaceful with one person arrested in Kolar district for bringing lethal weapons to threaten voters.
Over 1,35,000 security personnel were deputed for the election to provide security for the state's 9,954 hyper sensitive, 14,209 sensitive and 149 Naxal prone polling booths.