Rout for ruling Congress in Karnataka?

The exit polls have given not less than 20 seats to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the Bharatiya Janata Party-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance in Karnataka.
Indian National Congress flag used for representational purpose only
Indian National Congress flag used for representational purpose onlyPhoto | PTI

BENGALURU: If Saturday’s mega exit polls are to be believed, the situation is turning out to be grim for the ruling Congress in Karnataka as most pollsters have not given it double digits in the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.

If predictions come true on Tuesday, when the results are officially announced, political ripples in Karnataka politics, especially in the ruling Congress and its government, cannot be ruled out.

As per the predictions, the picture for I.N.D.I.A at the national level is also not bright. The exit polls predicted a setback for AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge, who had predicted 128 seats for Congress at the national level.

Deputy Chief Minister and KPCC president DK Shivakumar, however, said, “Exit polls typically have small sample sizes and hence don’t give the right numbers. I don’t have faith in exit polls…..Exit polls are giving 3-4 seats to Congress in Karnataka, but we will win seats in double digits. The I.N.D.I.A bloc will come to power in India.”

For Congress, which banked on its five guarantees and hoped to win 20 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state, such a scenario would come as a major setback.

Meanwhile, in the BJP ranks, some of the leaders — especially, detractors of former CM BS Yediyurappa — may raise a furore over the party not being able to make a clean sweep under his son BY Vijayendra’s leadership. But BJP sources clarified that there will be no change in the leadership whatsoever as the party would win over 20 seats. 

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Exit polls predict comeback for BJP after 2023 dismal show

The exit polls have given not less than 20 seats to National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the Bharatiya Janata Party-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance in Karnataka.

However, the saffron party, which suffered a drubbing in the May 2023 Assembly elections by winning only 60 seats, will consider it a comeback despite losing 5-6 seats compared to 2019 Lok Sabha polls when it won 25 seats.

Interestingly, the pollsters have also given 1-3 Lok Sabha seats to a struggling JDS, which won 19 seats in the Assembly polls. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, JDS was in alliance with Congress, but won only Hassan seat.

Surprisingly, the India Today-Axis My India exit polls have predicted a win for Hassan JDS Member of Parliament Prajwal Revanna, the prime accused in the alleged sexual abuse cases.

The exit polls have also indirectly predicted a win for former Chief Minister and JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy in Mandya and his party colleague Malleshbabu in Kolar constituency.

Given the predictions, the BJP is likely to sweep Bengaluru, Malnad and coastal regions, and Mumbai-Karnataka and Central Karnataka regions, which are its traditional strongholds, especially in Lok Sabha elections.

The people of Karnataka, who voted for Congress with great enthusiasm in the Assembly polls, have seemingly backed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership at the Centre. “Which means, people have voted differently from how they voted for the regional leadership of Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar in the assembly polls and chose Modi for LS polls despite the five guarantees that Congress had rolled out,” said a political analyst.

The analysts have observed that for the BJP-JDS alliance, the Veerashaiva-Lingayat and Vokkaliga leadership has worked out in LS polls, especially in the old Mysuru region. After having paid the price in Assembly elections last year, the BJP high command’s decision to appoint Vijayendra as state party chief seems to have had its impact on LS polls, said an analyst.

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