JD(S) emerging the kingmaker in Karnataka

PoliticsKarnataka Elections 2018 Opinion       Three essential Karnataka lessons for national politics
         Shekhar Gupta         15 May 2018

PoliticsKarnataka Elections 2018 Opinion Three essential Karnataka lessons for national politics Shekhar Gupta 15 May 2018

"We are going to win 125-130 seats with the help of everyone".

Both Prime MInister Narendra Modi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi have been campaigning hard in the state for the past couple of days. He was addressing media persons in Kalburgi today in the state after celebrating his 50th marriage anniversary.

BS Yeddyurappa, the CM candidate for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), rejected Siddaramaiah's claim stating that the Karnataka CM knows he is "losing miserably". "Democracy gives opportunities for such aspirations and I will like such people more", he said.

The Chief Election Commissioner stated that re-polling will take place in a polling station at Lottegollahalli in Hebbal due to malfunctioning of a ballot unit.

The predictions of Karnataka assembly election results are as confusing as was the campaign.

After a gap of almost 15 years, the exit polls suggest that Karnataka is heading for a hung assembly and the support of a regional party would be needed by both national parties. "It is the prerogative of the party high command and the MLAs to choose the CM", said Siddaramaiah. For some reason, Deve Gowda is now not accepting Siddaramaiah as CM candidate.

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Farm distress has become a political issue and the rural-urban stratification of the Karnataka vote will be important.

Virtually admitting that the Congress may fall short of a majority in the Assembly polls and pulling himself out of the race for the top post, chief minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday said it was fine if the party decides to have a dalit chief minister. "I can not talk about what may happen later based on assumptions or exit poll verdicts", he said pointing out that exit polls have proved wrong in the past too and even in 2013, when exit polls came out with similar findings.

Once considered a bastion of the Congress, Karnataka is crucial not just to the two national parties but also to the Janata Dal (Secular), or JDS, a regional outfit led by former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda.

Khera also said that no talks with the JD (S) were necessary and that he had no faith in exit polls. In this region, the Congress has 31 seats and the BJP 13, but with the Reddy Brothers and Sriramulu now part of the BJP, the party expects to perform better.

Yeddyurappa said the exit polls, which majorly predicted a hung Assembly in the state, got it wrong. "Everybody is confident of winning with an absolute majority".

"We have fought this election on the plank of our 5 year performance and our vision for the state".

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