The voting was for the Lok Sabha polls. But Karnataka's Congress-Janata Dal Secular coalition government is feeling the heat after exit polls indicated that the BJP and allies were all set to come back to power in the centre. The exit polls also indicated the BJP would get at least 20 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
BS Yeddyurappa, who was the first BJP Chief Minister in Karnataka and now the state party president, had always predicted that his party would win at least 22 seats.
"We are expecting more than 300 seats in the Lok Sabha and in Karnataka, minimum 20 to 22 seats," he told NDTV. "Modi's image is day by day going up. That is the main reason for winning more than 300 seats. Modi said so and exit polls also said so -- 100% in Karnataka. Also we are going to win over 22 seats. And in both by-elections, we are going to win," he added.
Mr Yeddyurappa was referring to two by-polls held on May 19 -- to Chincholi and Kundgol assembly seats in north Karnataka.
Chincholi became vacant after lawmaker Umesh Jadhav quit the Congress to join the BJP just ahead of elections. He was rewarded with the ticket for the Kalaburagi Lok Sabha seat, facing Congress veteran, Mallikarjun Kharge.
Kundgol saw the death of its Congress lawmaker, minister C S Shivali. His wife, Kusumavathi, has been given the ticket to take on the BJP's SI Chikkanagowdar.
In the backdrop of friction between the Congress-JDS ruling coalition in the state, the result in these seats could be interesting if the BJP manages to win them both - and narrow the gap between its numbers and those of the coalition.
The BJP currently has 104 seats in the 224-seat Assembly, where the half-way mark is 113. The party hopes that if it does come to power again in the centre, there may be MLAs who would cross over from the ruling coalition -- giving the BJP a real shot at toppling the existing government and coming to power again.
Mr Yeddyurappa, who had earlier claimed several Congress lawmakers were in touch with him, was more non-committal on Monday.
"Let us wait till May 23 - it all depends on Congress and JDS," he said, when asked about the fate of the state government.
The Congress says the counting has not started yet.
Dinesh Gundu Rao, KPCC chief told NDTV that the party would do much better that what the exit polls are predicting.
"The ground reality is not coming up in this exit poll -- that is my gut feeling. I am sure you will be seeing better results for Congress, UPA. My expectation is 14 to 15 seats in Karnataka," he said.
Mr Rao said there was no threat to the state government -- although he admitted there was work to do on the coalition itself.
"We could have done better. We could have won almost 20 seats if we had coordinated ourselves better. Somewhere that coordination didn't happen," he said, but added that the alliance is going to win the two by-elections in the state.
"So far as attempts to topple this government in concerned -- by the BJP with the Central government using all their machinery - we have withstood that. The government is quite safe," added Mr Rao, who and other state Congress leaders met party president, Rahul Gandhi in Delhi yesterday.
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