Bengaluru, May 13 () The countdown for the 2023 state Assembly election results has begun in Karnataka. The strong rooms were opened at 7 a.m. on Saturday and the process of counting will begin at 8 a.m. amid elaborate security arrangements.
The counting will be taken up in 36 centres in district headquarters across the state.
The authorities have clamped curfew orders in the capital city Bengaluru and communally sensitive Dakshina Kannada district to avoid untoward incidents and maintain law and order situation. The election results are crucial for the two national parties – BJP and Congress – as well as for the state party JD(S).
The Assembly poll in the state is said to be the semi-finals for the Lok Sabha elections as it will set the tone for the 2024 parliamentary elections.
Indicating a hung Assembly, most of the exit polls have predicted that the Congress will emerge as the single largest party.
The JD (S) has already sent feelers for the national parties and sources claim that the national parties have also reached out to JD(S) leaders. The intense competition and campaigning for the seat of power in Karnataka by Congress, BJP and JD(S) has raised the curiosity all over the country over the results.
The BJP is still claiming that it would attain a majority as per its reports from booth-level workers and wants to create history as no party has returned to power since 1985 in Karnataka.
Congress is also brimming with confidence and Karnataka Congress President D.K. Shivakumar has announced that the party will comfortably win 141 seats. The JD(S) is hoping to win 30 to 40 seats.
The magic number is 113 in the 224-member state legislature.
The intense competition has also led to a possibility of horse trading and national parties are all set for poaching of MLAs from rival camps, according to sources. The BJP is ready for ‘opration lotus’, while Congress is also ready to go for ‘reverse operation’. JD(S) is busy keeping its flock together and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda is personally keeping in touch with candidates, sources elaborate.
The statements by Minister for Revenue R. Ashoka that no matter how many seats BJP will win, it will form the government and MLC Lakhan Jarkiholi, brother of former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi that 20 elected candidates from Congress will resign, have stirred controversy and led to many speculations.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) are hoping to make it to the Karnataka legislature for the first time. The fate of 2,163 candidates seeking election who are in fray is sealed in ballot boxes.
Among 2,613 candidates, 2,427 are men and 185 are women. One candidate is in the other category.