Bengaluru: Counting of votes will be taken up on Tuesday for the Karnataka Assembly elections. Several exit polls have predicted a hung Assembly and have said that former PM HD Deve Gowda's JD(S) would play the role of the kingmaker.
Following are some of the interesting facts related to one of the most high-profile and bitterly fought elections in recent times:
- 222 of the 224 seats went to polls on May 12.
- A record 72.36 percent of the 5.07 crore electorate cast their votes, with 27,908 electors in defence services exercising their franchise through postal ballots.
- In all, 2,622 candidates, including 217 women contested the 222 seats, including 36 reserved for Scheduled Castes and 15 for the Scheduled Tribes.
- Polling for RR Nagar seat was deferred on account of alleged electoral malpractices, while it was countermanded in Jayanagar seat following the death of the BJP candidate.
- Counting of votes would begin at 8 am in nearly 40 counting centres.
- The trends are likely to begin to trickle within an hour and all results are expected to be declared by late evening.
- In case of a clear verdict in favour of the Congress, the grand old party will have broken the jinx of no political party retaining the reins of the state since 1985, when the erstwhile Janata Dal formed the government under Ramakrishna Hegde for a second consecutive term.
- It is, however, unclear if Siddaramaiah, a backward class leader with a formidable reputation, will be the next CM in the event of a Congress victory. Though the Congress had said he would be its face in the elections, it stopped short of declaring him the party's chief ministerial candidate.
- Siddaramaiah caused a political flutter when he said on Sunday that he was ready to make way for a Dalit CM if the Congress high command so decided, a statement many felt was aimed at keeping the JD(S) in good humour so as to stitch an alliance in case of a fractured mandate.
- He, however, had added that the high command would also consider the views of the winning candidates before deciding the next chief minister.
- Since the Congress had not declared its chief ministerial candidate, Dalit veterans in the party like its leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and state Congress chief G Parameshwara are being seen as possible alternatives.
- Siddramaiah is a former JD(S) man and his ties with Deve Gowda's party continue to be strained.
- The JD(S) has also claimed it would win a majority and that its CM candidate H D Kumaraswamy will be the "king" and not the "kingmaker".
- With the JD(S) having had partnered with both BJP and Congress in the past, it would be tough to predict which way it will go this time in the event of a hung House.
(With PTI inputs)