Karnataka assembly elections: Congress seats may dip but will remain largest party, BJP numbers will mount

New Delhi: The battle for Karnataka is unravelling in the media even before the state goes to the hustings. According to the first opinion poll conducted by India Today in tandem with Karvy Insights, the state is staring at a hung assembly.

Interestingly, though the Congress will see its seat share dip, essentially due to the anti-incumbency factor, and the BJP will see its numbers mount, the improved performance of the latter will not enable it to oust the former. So, the survey says, the Congress, which is currently at the helm in Karnataka, can hope to win between 90 and 101 seats. The BJP, which is fighting a high-stake battle to topple the Congress and desperate to spread its footprint across the Vindhyas — will win between 78 and 86 seats, the opinion poll shows.

But in this matrix, no one party is expected to touch the threshold of 112 in Karnataka’s 225-member Assembly. This will foist HD Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal (Secular), which will win between 34 and 43 seats, in the envious position of determining who will rule the state. The good news for the Congress is that the JD(S)-BSP combine is more likely to plumb for the Congress; According to the survey, 39 per cent want the JD(S)+ to tie up with the Congress in case of a hung Assembly while 29 per cent want the party to ally with the BJP.

Karnataka will vote in the upcoming Assembly election on May 12 (results will be out on May 15). The survey has made an interesting finding: it says that a substantial 45 per cent of voters feel that Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in Karnataka should be given another chance. Support for giving the party a second chance is particularly high among Muslims (65 per cent). Among Hindus, 44 per cent feel the Congress deserves a second chance. Only less than 30 per cent feel that Siddaramaiah’s performance is not up to the mark. The perception that Siddaramaiah’s performance has been very good or good is relatively weaker among the Vokkaliga, Lingayats and Brahmins, the survey adds.

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