Finally, the madness comes to a temporary halt or has it not. Maybe the PM is still campaigning in Nepal or maybe the Congress has seen some exit polls. The Karnataka battle has been fought now, the results await. We all have our predictions and assumptions and also aspirations regarding the Karnataka polls so let us read about the Karnataka Election 2018 exit poll and see the trends. Around 2600 candidates on around 224 seats will know what lady luck has for them on 15th of May. There was no doubt ever about this electoral battle to be fierce. Now when the votes are cast and people of Karnataka have exercised their right, it’s time for exit polls, the much dreaded, the not so helpful surveys in predicting anything but to only reinforce the idea of a close fight. Various channels have different surveys, very few of them have actually shared their methodology, and hence we will be looking at different exit polls keeping in my mind that the methodology is not shared with us and they will just satiate our need to read and our uncertainties about the winner will remain as it is.
Let’s look at the percentage of voters of different sections –
Karnataka’s past electoral dynamics suggests that caste plays a deciding role. The caste matrix of Karnataka is divided among the Lingayats which constitute around 14% and the second largest at 11% are the Vokkaliga. The Kurubas constitute 7% of the population whereas Muslims and Dalits are 13% and 17% respectively and Tribals constitute 7% of the population. As per various surveys majority of Dalits, Muslims and Christians have voted for Congress and the Lingayats instead of having a new religion status have still in the majority voted for the Lotus. Vokkaliga votes seem to be inclined to JD(S)
According to sources women and youth have come out in very large number to exercise universal suffrage in Karnataka polls.
Voter turnout in Karnataka is highest since its 1952 assembly polls with 72.13% voter turnout.
The exit polls of various surveys are shown in the following chart:
On the face of it, it seems difficult for Congress to hold its ground and BJP seems to be ahead in most of the exit polls but still the picture remains unclear and on analysis of various exit polls Karnataka must be gearing up for a hung assembly with no political party coming as a sole winner and JDS will be acting the Kingmaker. A party needs 112 seats to be in full majority which according to the exit polls no single party seems to be getting.
According to India today-Axis, congress seems to be sweeping the karnataka polls which also coincides with the what the chief minister of Karnataka Siddharamaiya believes. It is looking too far fetched though with the working of congress in karnataka for past years and other important factors in play like anti incumbency.The feasibility of such an outcome on 15th is marred by the following factors:
The BJP currently is more organizationally more prepared and is confident of the past victories.Also the strong leadership in face of the PM himself. While congress is weaker in all aspects, people have lost trust in the party.
The higher voter turnout indicates to the wave of anti incumbency among the masses.
Congress has constantly been under allegations of its way of dealing with extremist and terror groups in the coastal areas.
Banglore on one hand is becoming a global hub of big dreams and aspiration for people of all cultures and on the other hand it is emerging as a model of complete failure of law and order. With recent happenings like molestations,murders even the lokayukta office has been attacked. This puts the current government in a bad light and hard for people to repose their trust.
Acute agrarian stress and the lethargic government attitude.
The BJP has some luring schemes of loan waivers, free education in government colleges to BPL families, free smartphones to women.
The BJP seems to be reaping benefits from the whole Mhadayi water issue.
The coastal Karnataka is an RSS base and congress is weak in this region.
Well not all so gloomy for congress, there are some browny points where congress can and possibly will score. Let us look at these factors where Congress is somehow undisputed.
The old Mysore region: The surveys have claimed that voters turnout in heavy numbers in the old mysore region while the Bengaluru and HK region were not so active.In Old mysore region BJP has a very low presence and with Cauvery dispute in air and the lethargic attitude of the centre in forming the Cauvery Management Board plays with the image and acceptability of BJP in old mysore region. Also the riots during Tipu jayanti are favouring congress and putting BJP in a hindutva party. One major factor in old mysore region is the presence of Vokkaliga which are ardent supporters of the JDS.
Congress has been doing very well in the Hyderabad region since always.Caste has an unavoidable role to play when out 40 seats 18 are reserved for the ST/SC.Muslims are concentrated in Hyderabad region in a large number and makes it a bastion for congress votes.
On the poll of the exit polls, it becomes imperative for JDS to clear its stance in intraparty meetings and exploit the opportunity in a wise manner. The past alliances of JDS with both BJP and Congress have proved not so successful. In case the hung assembly becomes a reality on 15th, both parties in the alliance have to be playing it carefully by balancing each other’s demands, also not putting the public mandate in jeopardy. For a history of JDS alliance read https://www.electiontamasha.in/why-jds-king-maker-karnataka-election/
Karnataka assembly polls are looked upon as precursor to the Lok Sabha elections of 2019. In case the BJP sweeps the elections it will be ruling in more than 20 states then, will enter southern mainstream politics, it will be a token of trust people put in the PM, Narendra Modi. And again as in Gujarat Modi will be proved invincible. But if tables are turned around and Congress manages to keep hold of the rule in Karnataka, it will be a morale booster for it in 2019 elections and can give BJP a hard time. Though it is worrisome that if people approve Congress in Karnataka, they have approved its controversial electoral gimmicks like promising separate flags and linguistic autonomy and playing on religious lines and sentiments. Also if no party could make it to the majority mark then the path to a coalition government has to be trodden and history claims coalitions to be inefficient forms of government as public welfare is kept at the nadir in balancing the different equations in the alliance.