BENGALURU: The counting of votes for the aggressively contested Karnataka Assembly elections 2023 will be held on Saturday, three days after the voting concluded to elect the 224 members of the state Assembly.
The voting passed off peacefully in Karnataka with a voting turnout of 73.19 per cent, surpassing the 72.36 per cent recorded in 2018. A total of 737 Theme-based and ethnic model polling stations were set up. At 239 Polling stations set up in the state, voters were greeted by PwD staff.
As part of the initiative of the Election Commission of India (ECI) to inspire young voters to participate in the festival of democracy, 286 polling stations set up were managed by the youngest available staff. There were over 11.71 lakh first-time voters registered in the state.
Significant state elections ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha Polls
This Assembly election carried much significance as it was held almost a year before the 2024 general elections. Apart from the magic figure of 113 seats out of 224 Assembly seats, here is what you need to know ahead of the counting. The counting will be held in 36 centres across the State. A clear picture of the result is likely to emerge by noon.
In the 2018 Assembly elections, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as the single-largest party with 104 seats, followed by the Congress with 78 seats and the Janata Dal (Secular) with 37. This time in the 224 Assembly constituencies, a total of 2,615 candidates contested the polls.
Notably, Congress is expected to have a clear edge in Karnataka as four exit polls giving it a full majority and some predicting for a hung assembly with an advantage to the party. A few exit polls also said that BJP is ahead in the sweepstakes to form the government.
The exit polls, which were released after the polling ended in Karnataka, predicted that the JD(S) would not touch the 37 seats it won in the 2018, polls but will continue to be a strong regional player in the state. If Karnataka throws up a hung Assembly, the JD(S) could emerge in the role of kingmaker.
According to India Today-Axis My India exit poll, Congress is poised to win a comfortable majority with 122-140 seats, BJP will get 62-80 seats, JD(S) 20-25 and others 0-3 seats. A party needs 113 seats for a majority in the 224-member Karnataka assembly.
The poll of polls shows an advantage for the Congress with the party poised to win 109 seats, BJP 91 seats and JD-S 23. News24-Today’s Chanakya predicted Congress crossing the halfway mark. It said BJP is poised to win 92 seats, Congress, 120 and JD-S 12 seats.
Times Now-ETG poll and India TV-CNX poll also predicted Congress hitting the majority mark. Times Now-ETG said BJP is expected to win 85 seats, Congress 113, JD-S 23 and others three.
India TV-CNX poll gave 80-90 seats to BJP, 110-120 to Congress, JD-S 20-24 and 1-3 to others. Republic P-MARQ has predicted that Congress would get a 40 per cent vote share, BJP 36 per cent, JD(S) 17 per cent and seven per cent for independents and others.
The poll predicted that no party would get the majority mark in Karnataka with BJP poised to get 85-100 seats, Congress 94-108, JD-S 24-32 and others 2-6 seats.
The ABP-C Voter exit poll gave 83-95 seats to BJP, 100-112 to Congress, 21-29 to JD(S) and 2-6 to others. TV9 Bharatvarsh-Polstrat poll predicted a hung assembly. It said that BJP would win 88-98 seats, Congress 99-109 seats, JD-S 21-26 seats and others 0-4 seats.
The Zee News-Matrize exit poll gave a clear advantage to Congress. It predicted BJP getting 79-94 seats, Congress 103-118 seats, JD-S 25-33 seats and others 2-5 seats. The News Nation-CGS exit poll predicted a majority for BJP. It predicted that BJP will win 114 seats, Congress 86, JD-S 21 and others 3.
Asianet Suvarna News-Jan Ki Baat also predicted that BJP will be ahead of Congress with a better chance of forming the government. As per the exit poll, BJP is expected to get 94-117 seats while Congress would be close second with 91-106 seats. It said JD(S) is expected to get 14-24 seats, while 0-2 seats would go to other parties.
The fiercely contested election that saw high-pitch campaigns from the political parties is crucial for both BJP and Congress. Hectic electioneering by leaders of various political parties saw BJP allowing Union Ministers and Chief Ministers to campaign with their full force.
The Congress on the other hand worked hard to wrest power from the BJP that is striving to break the 38-year-old pattern of alternating governments and retain its power in the state.
Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge, held various roadshows, rallies and elections campaigns. An incumbent government has not returned to power in Karnataka after a full term of five years since 1985. (ANI)