Locals in Tarkaspet village boycott Karnataka poll

Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala

Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala

Every Congressman or (party) activist I have met in Karnataka has no doubt that we will be the single largest party.

An estimated 70 per cent of the over 4.96 crore voters exercised their franchise on Saturday to choose a new Karnataka assembly in one of the most high-profile and bitterly fought elections in the recent times.

Incidentally, the Congress did not officially name Siddaramaiah as the party's chief ministerial candidate ahead of the assembly elections, though it campaigned under his leadership.

The chief minister compared his tenure with former chief ministers Devraj Urs, Veerendra Patil, S. Bangarappa and Veerappa Moily and said they all had to deal with dissatisfied MLAs. He was addressing media persons in Kalburgi today in the state after celebrating his 50th marriage anniversary.

The BJP has declared B.S. Yeddyurappa as its chief ministerial candidate.

Karnataka election results will be announced on Tuesday. "We are confident that Siddaramaiah will again become the CM", he said. And if a Congress-JD (S) coalition comes to power, it will likely call for the sacrifice of Siddaramaiah's chief ministership, given his bitter history with Deve Gowda.

Another poll by India Today TV, released after voting closed on Saturday, predicted 106-118 seats for the Congress party in Karnataka, which is the only place in South India where the BJP has ever managed to win control of the state government. There was speculation galore that Siddaramaiah was ready for a compromise in case the Congress had to take the support of the JD (S) to form the government in Karnataka. He maintained that the Congress would secure absolute majority. That year, two senior Dalit leaders of the Congress, Mallikarjun Kharge and state party president G Parameshwara, had contested for the chief minister's post in a secret ballot of the Congress legislature party. On the other hand, Chanakya exit poll predicted that the BJP will form a majority government with 120 seats, while the Congress will be reduced to 73 seats.

Talking to reporters before the exit polls were out indicating that the BJP would be in upswing, Siddharamaiah, however, said that he would remain to be in active politics and guide his followers.

Siddharamaiah completes five years in office as Chief Minister of Karnataka.

Of the 224 seats up for grabs (113 seats needed for simple majority), exit polls on average predict 89 seats for the INC, 101 for BJP and 30 for the regional party Janata Dal (Secular) (JD (S)).

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