Two opinion polls released on Monday predicted a hung Assembly in Karnataka for the upcoming state elections while also suggesting that Janata Dal (Secular) will play a crucial role in forming the next government, which will be a coalition one.
Hinting at a Congress lead with HD Kumaraswamy's JDS playing the kingmaker, the Times Now-VMR survey says BJP will come a close second after the ruling Congress.
It has given Congress 91 seats in the 224-seat Assembly and BJP 89 seats — a difference of just 2 seats. With 113 seats required to form the government, the JDS-BSP alliance is expected to win 40 seats and thus play a crucial role in forming the next government.
The survey has predicted a massive gain for the saffron party that had won about 40 seats in the 2013 elections and are now expected to win 89 seats while the Congress’ share is predicted to fall from the earlier 122 to 91.
The ABP-CSDS survey, on the other hand, has given BJP the lead position with 89-95 seats and 85-91 seats to the incumbent Congress. However, the poll suggests that Congress will improve its vote share but still finish a close second behind the BJP.
The ABP survey, too, has declared HD Kumaraswamy’s JDS as the kingmaker with 32-38 seats.
On the other hand, ranking the different chief ministerial candidates, the poll has ranked CM Siddaramaiah as the “most preferred candidate” for the chief minister’s job.
30% respondents prefer Siddaramaiah as the CM while 25% prefer BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa and about 20% stood up for JDS’ HD Kumaraswamy.
Interestingly, the Times Now survey has also suggested that the much-talked about Lingayat card played by the Congress-led state government would not be of much help to the party.
The survey predicts that the party will win only 21 of the 50 seats in Mumbai-Karnataka region where the Lingayats are a dominant community. In 2013, the party had won 31 seats in this region.
The survey further predicts that BJP will gain 10 seats in this region taking its tally to 23 from its 2013 count of 13 seats.