Voting Ends In Karnataka, Exit Polls Predict Hung Assembly: 10 Points

Karnataka assembly election: If the Congress loses, it will be difficult for the party to claim the lead in any political ties against the BJP in 2019

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Karnataka election 2018: A party needs 113 seats for a majority in 224-member Karnataka assembly.

New Delhi:  Karnataka voted today in a tight election that will decide the future of the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress, which is fighting to retain control of its last major state against a fierce campaign by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to win another opposition-ruled state and secure a beachhead in the south ahead of his re-election bid in 2019. A final turnout of 72.1 per cent was recorded, just a shade better than 71.4 per cent recorded in 2013. This is the first test of Rahul Gandhi's leadership since he took charge as party chief in December. A party needs 112 for the 222 seats on which elections were held on Saturday. A poll of exit polls predicts a hung assembly, with the BJP ahead of the Congress, and the regional party Janata Dal Secular emerging kingmaker. The BJP and its allies are currently in power in 21 of India's 29 states, but after Karnataka, three more state elections will be due by the end of the year.
Here are the top 10 updates in Karnataka elections 2018:
  1. A poll of nine exit polls shows the BJP emerging as the largest party with 97 seats, but well short of the majority mark. The Congress will win 90 seats and the JDS 31, according to the poll of exit polls.
  2. Repolling will be held at a booth in Bengaluru's Hebbal after an electronic voting machine or EVM malfunctioned. There were complaints of faulty EVMs in some booths; a power crisis at a polling station in Rajajinagar seat; and missing names at some polling booths.
  3. About five crore voters chose from over 2,600 candidates contesting from 222 constituencies in the Karnataka assembly. Elections in two constituencies have been deferred; voting was put off in one seat following the BJP candidate's death, and in another - Rajarajeswari Nagar - after nearly 10,000 voter IDs were found in an apartment. The BJP has accused the Congress of attempting to rig the polls.
  4. The BJP's chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa, confident that his party, the BJP, would form the new government in Karnataka, "announced" the date of his oath ceremony.
  5. Mr Yeddyurappa is "mentally disturbed," said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of the Congress, asserting he would retain power; the state has not re-elected a government in 33 years.
  6. Mr Siddaramaiah, who is contesting from two seats, faces tough fights in both - Chamundeshwari and Badami. The BJP and JDS, according to the Congress, have teamed up in Chamundeshwari while in Badami, the BJP has fielded B Sriramulu, an aide of the powerful and wealthy Reddy brothers.
  7. If Congress loses the election, it will be difficult for Rahul Gandhi to claim the lead in any political alliance against the BJP in 2019. The party holds only three other states - Punjab, Puducherry and Mizoram - after losing power in every state it has ruled since 2014.
  8. The BJP's rule in Karnataka between 2008 and 2013 was bedevilled by feuds and allegations of corruption. Mr Yeddyurappa, who was chief minister, was jailed over corruption charges. In 2013, a deeply divided BJP meant an easy win for the Congress, which won 122 seats.
  9. A BJP defeat will galvanise the Congress under Rahul Gandhi, a sixth generation party chief from the Nehru-Gandhi family. The party has tried to exploit dissatisfaction over a lack of jobs for young people and rising fuel prices.
  10. The Congress is relying on the votes of Dalits, Muslims and Kurubas - the community to which Siddaramaiah belongs. The Congress government has taken controversial decisions to propose a new state flag, stress on the local Kannada language and declare the Lingayat community - a powerful and electorally significant Hindu sect - a separate religion.


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Highlights

1
Voting in 222 of the 224 constituencies from 7 am to 6 pm
2
Polls in Bengaluru's Rajarajeswari Nagar deferred over rigging allegation
3
Results for Karnataka elections will be declared on Tuesday
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