Both the Congress party and the BJP are confident of a victory in the Karnataka elections 2023 which concluded in a single phase on May 10. More than 5.31 crore voters, including 11.71 lakh new voters voted and the voter turnout was 72.63%. Apart from the BJP and Congress, the Janata Dal-Secular (JDS) is the third major party in the fray, and which party will emerge at the top will be decided when the results are announced on May 13.
The Karnataka exit poll by P-MARQ, Polstrat, Matrize, Digvijay-C and News First has projected the Congress as the winner with an average of 104 seats out of 224. The BJP, on the other hand, is predicted to win an average of 94 seats followed by the JDS which is likely to win 25. Three of those constituencies are likely to be won by other smaller parties.
Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar, who contested the election from the Kanakpura constituency, predicted that his party will win as many as 146 seats. "I don't believe these (exit poll) numbers. I stand by my numbers that we will cross 146 seats. People are highly educated and are looking at larger interests because the double engine has failed in Karnataka," Shivakumar said.
When asked if the Congress party will form an alliance with the JDS or any other party, he replied, "the situation will not arise".
#WATCH | My first reaction is that I don't believe these numbers (exit polls). I stand by my numbers that we will cross 146 seats. People are highly educated and are looking at larger interests because the double engine has failed in Karnataka. The situation will not arise (to… pic.twitter.com/bYRpq2Mjom— ANI (@ANI) May 10, 2023
Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah also said that Congress will win with a majority and also predicted his win from the Varuna constituency. He contested against Karnataka Housing Minister V Somanna and JDS candidate Bharathi Shankar.
Karnataka CM and Shiggaon candidate Basavaraj Bommai said that the BJP will retain its power and form government for the second consecutive time with an absolute majority. "I am very much confident that we will come back to power with an absolute majority, I am 200% confident. Exit polls are done in a hurry, and there will be lots of errors. There is no question of anybody becoming the kingmaker. For me, the people are the kingmaker and they will bring the BJP back to power," Bommai said. Notably, no party has retained power for a second consecutive term in Karnataka for the last 38 years.
#WATCH | I am very much confident that we will come back to power with an absolute majority, I am 200% confident. Exit polls are done in a hurry, and there will be lots of errors. There is no question of anybody becoming the kingmaker, for me the people are the kingmaker and they… pic.twitter.com/Ldj4dCgDg3— ANI (@ANI) May 10, 2023
Former Karnataka CM and BJP veteran, while speaking to Republic, reiterated that his party will win with absolute majority. He also did not rule out the possibility of an alliance with HD Kumaraswamy-led JDS, which is being projected as a kingmaker. Earlier, Yediyurappa said that the BJP might win 115-117 seats.
#KarnatakaVotes | After final counting our national leaders will take appropriate decision: Former CM of Karnataka @Yediyurappa #LIVE, speaks on Republic-PMARQ Exit Poll projections.#KarnatakaElections #ExitPolls#BSYediyurappa pic.twitter.com/PuhlkMahyP— Republic (@republic) May 10, 2023