Voters wait in queues to cast their ballot at a polling station in Bangalore on Saturday. Muslims who form almost 13 per cent of the state's population are a crucial vote bank for the non-BJP outfits and many experts predicted that the Congress might have managed to swing the Muslim supporters of the JD (S) in its citadel of Old Mysuru region.
Soon after its exit poll predictions with VMR projected the Congress as the single largest party, the channel announced that it was going to broadcast another exit poll numbers.
The only common point among all the exit polls is that the election is closely fought and no party is guaranteed well above the absolute majority mark.
Almost 70 per cent of the 49.6 million electorate in Karnataka voted on Saturday to elect a new Assembly.
Elections will be held to fill in six seats, three each from graduates and teachers constituencies, falling vacant in the Karnataka Legislative Council, on June 8. "The results will come as boost for the BJP ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections, as Karnataka will be its gateway to the South", a source said. But then the suspense will be on till 15th. Times Now VMR predicted the BJP getting 86, the Congress 96, JD (S) 35 and others 3, while Republic TVJan ki bat predicted 104 seats for the BJP, 77 for the Congress, 37 for the JD (S) and two for others. The BJP, meanwhile, has proposed that it might be open to offering Kumaraswamy the first go at the chief ministerial chair.
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He sacked critics in his government, including an attorney general and a deputy prime minister and muzzled the media. Late on Saturday, Mahathir met Anwar in his hospital room, where he is recovering from a shoulder operation.
NDTV's Exit Poll said BJP will be single largest party with 98 seats, Congress second largest party with 88 seats, and JD (S) will be a Kingmaker with 33 seats.
While polling was held on Saturday, counting of votes is scheduled for May 15.
In coastal Karnataka with 19 seats total, BJP can grab 14 seats, Congress may get 4, JDS might only claim victory on 1 seat while there is no hope for others. "We also want to give BJP a chance in the state because it can work in tandem with the Union government", said Arun Patil, a salesman at a jewellery shop in Puttur assembly constituency of Dakshin Kannada district. Today's Chanakya had projected 135-150 seats for the BJP in the Gujarat assembly polls previous year. However, the exit polls have not given any party a clear winning margin. According to News Nation, the Congress is likely to get 71-75 seats, BJP 105-109 and JDS 36-40 seat.
Taking to Twitter, Siddaramaiah also recalled how he had taken charge as Karnataka CM on this date five years ago and said he looked forward to the people's love and support "for doing more". The saffron party was given 101-113 seats against 82-94 of Congress. JD (S) got about 18-31 seats.