Karnataka elections: 70% voter turnout, exit polls predict hung assembly

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah after voting in the Karnataka Assembly Elections at Hundi village Mysuru on Saturday

In the Old Mysore region, which is traditionally a stronghold of the Vokkaligas, the JD (S), with 23 seats, could get the same number of seats or less, as predicted by various exit polls. For instance, the ABP-C Voter Exit poll predicts a 41per cent vote share to the BJP - but just 97-109 seats to the BJP. "There is a silent and strong wave in favour of BJP and public anger against Siddaramaiah and Congress", he said. However, India News-Today's Chanakya has predicted a clear cut majority for the BJP with 120 seats.

He trashed exit poll findings and said BJP would get 125-130 seats.

In the 2013 election, the Congress won 36.6% of the popular vote, while the BJP polled 19.9%.

The 72.13 percent voter turnout in the Karnataka Assembly elections has broken all records and is the highest since the 1952 state polls, Chief Electoral Officer Sanjeev Kumar said on Sunday.

BJP's chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa flashes his inked finger in Karnataka's Shimoga district.

Times Now broadcast two exit polls.

An aggregate of the seven exit polls say the BJP will get 98 seats and the Congress 89 seats - considerably below the 112 needed for majority for the 222 seats on which elections were held today.

Pune: Union Minister Ramdas Athawale said that Congress chief Rahul Gandhi would have to wait for "10 to 15 years" to become the country's Prime Minister.

Exit polls predicted a hung assembly after Saturday's vote, triggering speculation Siddaramaiah might have to make way for a new leader if the Congress strikes an alliance with the JD (S) to retain power.

Earlier in the day, while BJP's CM candidate Yeddyurappa claimed that his party will bag over 125 seats, incumbent CM Siddaramaiah termed the exit polls a mere "weekend entertainment". The Gujarat exit polls weren't very long ago and the urban bias and other variables - including the size and quality of samples - can lead to errors. It was 65 percent in 2008 and 2004, 69 percent in the 1989 and 1994 and 69 percent in the 1990 elections, he said.

Following the end of polls on Saturday, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president and former chief minister G Parameshwara said that the decision on the Dalit chief minister matter will be taken by the party high command.

It would be interesting to analyse what a hung assembly scenario can bring about now.

Karnataka is few of the states in India where the Congress is still ruling.

Siddaramaiah had also dubbed his political rival, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s B S Yeddyurappa as "mentally disturbed" for his claim that he would take oath as the chief minister on May 17.

Also most exit polls forecast hung Assembly with a possibility of the JD (S) emerging as the kingmaker.

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