Karnataka polls: Counting tomorrow; will Cong get majority on its own?

Karnataka polls: Counting tomorrow; will Cong get majority on its own?

With exit polls widely predicting a Congress victory in Karnataka Assembly elections, the burning question now is whether the party would gain majority on its own, as counting of votes is taken up tomorrow.

Some of these polls have put the Congress tally in the 224-member House at anywhere between 110 and 132, with the ruling BJP a distant loser; 113 seats would be required for majority.

Now, the recurrent question being asked is if there will be a situation where the Congress falls short of numbers. Some leaders of Karnataka Janatha Paksha (KJP) of former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa have said in private that the party is ready to support a Congress government,if it comes to that.

But it's not clear if the Congress would accept KJP support, particularly as it had gone hammer and tongs against Yeddyurappa when he was the Chief Minister and faced corruption charges. The Congress is hoping that it would not have to depend on others to form government.

Prima facie, it appears that Yeddyurappa may have accomplished his task to decimate the BJP, by chipping away a few percentage of votes. In the last elections, the BJP had secured nearly one per cent votes less than Congress but still managed to bag 30 seats more than it. KJP's stance post the election-results is keenly watched as it's predicted to bag about only two dozen seats, at the most.

There are nearly 3,000 candidates in the fray. Close to 52,000 booths are in place, including about 10,000 hypersensitive and more than 14,000 sensitive ones where the authorities would keep a special vigil with the help of web cameras.

More than 4.36 crore people are eligible to exercise their franchise. There are about 35.59 lakh new voters  (18-22 age category).

As many as 65,000 electronic voting machines, which include about 10 per cent kept as reserve, are ready to be pressed into service. More than 2.5 lakh poling officers would be on duty.

In the 2008 elections, BJP secured 110 seats, three short of majority, and went on to form the government with the help of five independents who were made Ministers. The Congress bagged 80 seats and the JDS 28.

The BJP secured 33.86 per cent, compared to the Congress' 34.59 per cent and JDS 19.13 per cent in 2008 polls.

While the overall voter turnout was 64.91 per cent in the 2008 elections, the average in the 28 segments of Bangalore was a low 47.3 per cent. The lowest in Bangalore was in Sarvajnanagar at 35.40 per cent.

The Election Commission and a number of NGOs carried out vigorous campaigns in recent days to boost the voter turnout.

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