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Karnataka poll results: Surprise move by Congress did not help, BJP set to form govt

Karnataka poll results: Surprise move by Congress did not help, BJP set to form govt
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Bengaluru: In a surprise turn of events, the Congress on Tuesday said it will extend support to the JD(S) in forming the next government in Karnataka where the election results kept the BJP a step behind from getting a simple majority on its own.

The trends indicate that the BJP is likely to win 104 seats and the Congress 78. The Janata Dal (Secular) has won 37 and others have won three.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told reporters after a meeting with central Congress leaders, including Gulam Nabi Azad, that the party will back the JD(S) in forming the government. It was not yet clear if the Congress would extend support from outside or be part of the new government.

“We have decided that the Congress will extend support to the JD(S) to form the government. That’s the best way to keep the BJP out (of power),” Siddaramaiah said.

Importantly, the exit polls for the Karnataka elections mostly predicted a hung Assembly in the state, but some pollsters came close to hitting the bullseye, with forecasts that almost tallied with the results announced on Tuesday.

The ABP-C Voter exit poll predicted 104-116 seats for the BJP while it gave 72-78 seats to the Congress, 20-29 to the JD(S) and 0-7 to others.

Republic TV-Jan ki Baat gave 95-114 seats to the BJP, 73-82 to the Congress, 32-43 to the JD(S) and 2-3 to others.

The Times Now-VMR poll predicted the BJP would win 94 seats, Congress 97 and JD (S) 28, while Times Now-Chanakya forecast a majority for the BJP with 120 seats and gave the Congress and the JD(S) 73 and 26 seats respectively.

The India Today-Axis exit poll had put the Congress in a pole position and predicted its tally in the range of 106 to 118 seats, and that of the BJP between 79 and 92 seats. The JD(S) tally would be between 22 and 30 seats, it said.

The Poll of Exit Polls on NDTV forecast 97, 90 and 31 seats for the BJP, the Congress and the JD(S) respectively.

An Independent, a candidate from the Bahujan Samaj Party and another from the Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party have won one seat each.

Elections were held on May 12.

The Congress had won 122 seats in the 2013 state Assembly polls following a split in the BJP, which was reduced to 40 seats while the JD(S) had also bagged 40 seats.

Meanwhile, the Congress and JDS leaders met Governor Vajubhai Vala and staked claim to form a JDS-led government in Karnataka.

Leaders of both the parties including outgoing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjuna Kharge along with JD(S) state Chief H D Kumaraswamy met Vala and submitted a letter seeking an opportunity to form the government.

“All India Congress party leaders after discussion have given a letter to our party president extending support ….on behalf our party, along with Congress leaders we have asked governor seeking an opportunity to form the government with the support of Congress, also two independent MLAs,” Kumaraswamy said after meeting the governor.

The JDS leader said the governor told them that he would take a decision after getting official communication about the poll results from the EC.


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