Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Exit polls favour BJP in Karnataka, daunt Congress with single digit

Deputy CM DK Shivakumar and senior Congress leader was quick to reject the numbers, saying that the projections by the pollsters weren't correct. 'I don’t believe in exit polls. We’ll cross double digits. See for yourself.'
harath Joshi
Last Updated : 01 June 2024, 17:59 IST
Last Updated : 01 June 2024, 17:59 IST

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Bengaluru: Exit polls for the Lok Sabha elections on Saturday carried a rude shock for Congress as none gave the ruling party a double-digit figure while showing the BJP-JD(S) alliance in a comfortable spot, prompting Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar to reject the numbers.

All exit polls gave the BJP a minimum of 18 seats. The highest projection for Congress was eight seats.

In 2019, the BJP had won 25 out of 28 seats. This time, Congress was confident of winning 15-20 seats.

But the India Today - Axis My India gave BJP 20-22 seats, JD(S) 2-3 and Congress 3-5. Jan Ki Baat gave 18-22 for BJP, 1-3 for JD(S) and 4-8 for Congress. The TV9 Polstrat & People’s Insight gave 18 for BJP, two JD(S) and eight Congress.

“I don’t believe in exit polls. We’ll cross double digits. See for yourself,” Shivakumar, the Karnataka Congress president, said and added that the I.N.D.I.A. grouping would come to power.

Shivakumar, who had accurately predicted that Congress would win 136 Assembly seats last year, explained his disbelief in exit polls thus: “Their assessment isn’t proper. They don’t go to the interiors. They just take some sample size. I don’t believe in it.”

Having stormed to power in the Assembly election last year, Congress rolled out five ‘guarantee’ schemes in Karnataka, which became the fulcrum of its Lok Sabha campaign. A poor performance will be seen as the ‘guarantee’ schemes having failed to give Congress electoral dividends.

Not winning the highest number of seats may also have a bearing on the power dynamics within Congress amid speculation over a midterm change in leadership that may see Chief Minister Siddaramaiah make way for Shivakumar.

A good show will be a shot in the arm for BJP following its humiliating Assembly poll defeat last year.

“The exit poll numbers show the immense popularity of PM Modi. It shows that people are astute and clear in distinguishing between state and national polls,” BJP Yuva Morcha national president Tejasvi Surya, who has sought re-election from Bangalore South, told DH.

Surya also sees the exit polls as Karnataka voters’ 'rejection' of the Congress party's guarantee-based economic policy.

If some exit poll numbers hold, then the BJP-JD(S) alliance has worked.

"It was a natural alliance, which definitely helped the BJP in the Vokkaliga belt,” Surya said.

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Published 01 June 2024, 17:59 IST

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