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All eyes on Karnataka poll results as counting begins amid tight security

Representational image. The counting for the votes for the recently concluded Karnataka Assembly has started (Pic. Courtesy ANI)

Bengaluru: All eyes are set on 224 assembly seats of Karnataka that went for polls on May 10, as counting of votes started at 8 am on Saturday amid tight security.

The counting is being held at 36 centres across the State, in which 2,615 candidates are in the fray. ” A clear picture of the result is likely to emerge by noon.

This Assembly election carried much significance as it was held almost a year before the 2024 general elections. The election witnessed an aggressive battle between the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress, and the Janata Dal (Secular) or JD (S).

Apart from the magic figure of 113 seats out of 224 Assembly seats, here is what you need to know ahead of the counting. Voting for Karnataka assembly polls 2023 concluded on Wednesday evening.

According to the Election Commission (EC), Karnataka recorded a 73.19 per cent voter turnout in the May 10 assembly elections, the highest-ever voter turnout in the southern state.

Polling was held across 58,545 polling stations to elect the members in the 224-seat Karnataka Legislative Assembly. The majority mark needed to form the government is 113.

Earlier on Friday, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai exuded confidence in Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) return to power in Karnataka. “There is no chance of a hung Assembly, we are going to form the government comfortably. Let him (DK Shivakumar) be happy with his 141 seats till tomorrow. We will have a legislature party meeting to decide the Chief Ministerial face,” Chief Minister Bommai told reporters.

CM Basavaraj Bommai on Friday held a key meeting with top Bharatiya Janata Party leaders from the state. The meeting was held at the residence of former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa in Bengaluru.

Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar also met with party president Mallikarjun Kharge at his residence in Bengaluru and held discussions on the party’s strategy once the results are declared.

“Exit polls have their own theory. We do not go by those samples, my sample size is too high and in that, we will have a comfortable majority. I do not know about JDS, let them take their own call. I do not have any backup plan, my only plan is that the Congress party will come to power,” Shivakumar told ANI.

The Janata Dal (Secular) national spokesperson Tanveer Ahmed on Friday while speaking to ANI said, “We have already decided with whom we are going to form the government. We will announce it to the public when the appropriate time comes.

“Former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Thursday expressed confidence that the Bharatiya Janata Party would secure an absolute majority and return to power for a second term to form government in the southern state.

Speaking to ANI, Yediyurappa said, “I am 100 per cent confident that the BJP will secure an absolute majority and form the government”. His response came after exit polls predicted Congress’s edge over the BJP in Karnataka polls. The BJP leader refuted any possibility of a hung assembly.

With exit polls giving Congress an edge over the BJP in the Karnataka Assembly elections, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that the BJP will come to power with a “comfortable majority” as he was confident with the party’s ground reports.

“All the exit polls predicted that Yogi Adityanath will not come back but he came back in Uttar Pradesh. Last time, they (exit polls) predicted only 80 seats for BJP and 107 for Congress but it came reverse… We are confident with our ground reports and we will come with a comfortable majority,” Bommai told ANI on Thursday.

On a question about forming an alliance with JD(S), in case the party falls short of a majority, he said, “At that time, National leadership is going to take a decision. The question does not arise. I am certain that the party will get 115-117 seats”.

Congress is expected to have a clear edge in Karnataka in the assembly elections held on Wednesday with four exit polls giving it a full majority and some predicting a hung assembly with an advantage to the party.

A few exit polls also said that BJP is ahead and is likely to form the government.

The exit polls, which were released after the polling ended in Karnataka, predicted that Janata Dal-Secular JD(S) would not touch the 37 seats it won in the 2018 polls but would continue to be a strong regional player in the state.