All eyes are set on 224 assembly seats of Karnataka that went for polls on May 10, as the counting of votes started at 8 am on Saturday amid tight security. Most exit polls have given an edge to the Congress over the ruling BJP, while also indicating the possibility of a hung Assembly in the state. As the counting is underway, a Congress leader expressed confidence that the party will get a comfortable majority with more than 120 seats.
''It's a big day today. We are hopeful that Congress will emerge victorious. We should get a comfortable majority with more than 120 seats. It's not just the exit polls that predict Congress victory, the same is also visible on the ground level, people want change, '' K Rahman Khan, Congress leader & former Union minister told news agency ANI.
Karnataka | It's a big day today. We are hopeful that Congress will emerge victorious. We should get a comfortable majority with more than 120 seats. It's not just the exit polls that predict Congress victory, the same is also visible on the ground level, people want change: K… pic.twitter.com/HAWDM9VDC2— ANI (@ANI) May 13, 2023
Meanwhile, Congress Karnataka chief DK Shivakumar also dismissed the exit poll results and insisted that the party will win at least 141 seats and form a majority government.
Reiterating the same, former CM Siddaramaiah's son Yathindra Siddaramaiah said Congress will get an absolute majority and form the government in Karnataka. He said he is confident that Congress will make government on its own.
Varuna, Mysuru | Congress will get an absolute majority and form the government in Karnataka. We are confident that we will make government on our own: Yathindra Siddaramaiah, Congress leader and son of former CM Siddaramaiah pic.twitter.com/syEN9tRS4k— ANI (@ANI) May 13, 2023
The BJP too claimed that they are going to retain the power in Karnataka with a comfortable majority.
Earlier on Friday, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai exuded confidence in Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) return to power in Karnataka. "There is no chance of a hung Assembly, we are going to form the government comfortably. Let him (DK Shivakumar) be happy with his 141 seats till tomorrow. We will have a legislature party meeting to decide the Chief Ministerial face," Chief Minister Bommai told reporters.
The counting is being held at 36 centers across the State, in which 2,615 candidates are in the fray. Elaborate security arrangements have been made across the state, especially in and around the counting centers, to avoid any untoward incidents, official sources told PTI. The state registered a "record" turnout of 73.19 percent in the voting on May 10, to elect representatives to the 224-member Assembly.
The electoral fortunes of top leaders-- Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai of the BJP, Congress heavyweights Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar, and JD(S)' HD Kumaraswamy, among many others will be known today.