Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah on Sunday said that he is ready to sacrifice the Chief Minister's office to make way for a Dalit, according to a report by news agency ANI. Meanwhile, Janata Dal (Secular) (JD-S) supremo H D Deve Gowda said that he was not yet "prepared" to "accept or reject" anything and asked people to wait for the results day.
His reaction came after the exit poll projections showed his party emerging as the kingmaker in Karnataka.
"I am not prepared to accept or reject anything, let's wait for May 15 (counting of votes), we will get to know the reality," he told ANI.Former Karnataka Chief Minister and the CM candidate of BJP during the Karnataka Assembly Election 2018, B S Yeddyurappa said today that his party will be victorious with 125-130 seats in the state assembly. He said that the Congress will be decimated, adding that the incumbent party won't get more than 70 seats. JD(S) willl not cross 25 seats, according to him. "There is a silent and strong wave in favour of BJP and public anger against Siddaramaiah and Congress," he said. "This will be known when the results would be declared on Tuesday. BJP will form the government with an absolute majority, while Congress will exit from Karnataka," he added. When asked about Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's advice on not believing the exit polls, Yeddyurappa said, "I am not saying this. Congress knows that it will lose in the election. There is no question of a hung assembly. I am confident that the BJP will form the government." Voting in the Karnataka assembly election on took place on Saturday. Six of nine exit polls showed the BJP winning the most number of seats, whereas the rest predict that come result day, Congress will be the single largest party in the Karnataka assembly. In any case, the Janata Dal (Secular) will be the kingmaker after the results, according to political observers. On Saturday, JD(S) spokesperson Danish Ali said that it would be the Congress' responsibility to approach the party led by H D Deve Gowda if the grand old party doesn't get enough seats to form the government, news website NDTV reported. The voter turnout on polling day breached 70 per cent, according to the state election commission. The Congress and the BJP read the tea leaves differently on the high polling.
The Congress said that the turnout was an indication that its supporters came out to vote in large numbers, whereas the BJP believes it implies that anti-incumbency sentiment is running high. Polling was held today in 222 constituencies following the countermanding of election for the Jayanagara seat due to the death of BJP candidate B N Vijaykumar, and deferment of voting for R R Nagar seat after a massive row erupted over a large number of voter ID cards being found in a Bengaluru apartment. The Congress had won 122 seats in the 2013 state Assembly polls following a split in the BJP, which was reduced to 40 seats while the JD(S) also got 40 seats. Both the BJP and the Congress ran a high-decibel campaign in the state with Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the saffron charge with 21 rallies while Rahul Gandhi and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah led their bid to ensure that it defies anti-incumbency to retain power. Pollsters have forecast a hung Assembly, with a close contest between the state's ruling Congress and main challenger BJP. Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda's JD(S), though projected to finish a distant third, is likely to play a crucial role in government formation in the event of a fractured mandate. The outcome of the elections may have a huge impact on the fortunes of two main national parties--the BJP and the Congress--that are vying for electoral laurel in the key southern state. While a victory would help boost the sagging morale of the Congress, which has been losing state after state since Narendra Modi came to power at the Centre, a defeat in Karnataka, the only big state it rules apart from Punjab, may further hasten its decline. Losing Karnataka will also drastically weaken its claim for the leadership of a broader anti-BJP alliance that is being talked about. On the other hand, a victory will help revive positive sentiments in the party ahead of the Assembly elections in BJP-ruled Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh later this year, and the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said the "seizure of cash, liquor and other goods was to the tune of Rs 186 crore, which was six times more than the Lok Sabha and eight times more than the Assembly election in 2013". He said there 26 cases of paid news reported across the state, out of which 15 cases have been proved as paid news. Here are the top updates around the Karnataka Assembly Election 2018: 1. Exit polls signal a hung assembly Exit polls on Saturday after the Karnataka assembly election predicted a hung assembly in the state with six surveys showing BJP as the single largest party and the three showing Congress in the lead. In the tightly-fought election, the poll of exit polls predicted that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may get 99 seats, the Congress 88 and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) 33. Surveys varied in their predictions for seats for the three parties but the figures clearly indicated that the JD-S could have a decisive role in government formation. ALSO READ: Karnataka Election 2018: 70% turnout, exit polls predict fractured mandate 2. JD(S) says Congress has to move first for a coalition in event of hung assembly Congress will need to approach the JD(S) for government formation and not the other way around if at all there is no clear majority after on result day, an NDTV report quoted JD(S) leader as saying. 3. Women, youth voted in large numbers Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer Sanjeev Kumar today said women and young voters exercised their franchise in large numbers in today's poll and the turnout was expected to cross 70 per cent. "It is heartening to tell you that women and young voters have come out in large numbers in this election and we are expecting voter turnout percentage to cross 70 per cent," he told reporters in Bengaluru. 4. Modi wants to keep people away from reality: Yechury CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury today accused the Narendra Modi government of keeping people away from the reality and called upon all secular parties to join hands to oust the NDA government at the Centre. Alleging that giving slogans was a strategy of Modi, he said, "The prime minister did not speak on the current situation of the country while campaigning in Karnataka. He often speaks on (Jawaharlal) Nehru and (Sardar Vallabhbhai) Patel instead of saying what he has been doing." 5. 'Amit Shah never promised Mahadayi water to Karnataka' Days after BJP President Amit Shah made a pro-Karnataka comment on the Mahadayi inter-state water dispute, Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Naik on Saturday denied that Shah had made any commitment to divert water from the Mahadayi river to Karnataka and resolve the dispute within six months. Naik's statement comes on the day when Karnataka went to polls after a high profile and heated election campaign, in which the contentious Mahadayi river dispute featured prominently, at least in the northern regions of the state. "He (Shah) never said we will give (water) to Karnataka, he only said that he will think about it," Naik told a press conference at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state headquarters in Panaji. 6. BJP alleges 'rigged election' in BTM Layout Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Lallesh Reddy, who is contesting the Karnataka Assembly election from BTM Layout constituency, has claimed that polling at a booth in the constituency was rigged by the state government officials. Reddy, while talking to ANI said that few men who claimed to be officials of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) first gave voter identity cards to the people and collected it back when those people returned after casting their votes. He added that later few goons who were allegedly from the Congress party threatened to kill him. 7. Congress accuses PM Modi of trying to 'influence' Karnataka voters through Nepal temple visits: PM Narendra Modi on Saturday prayed at Nepal's iconic Muktinath temple that is regarded sacred by both Hindus and Buddhists, becoming the first world leader to offer prayers there. He also offered prayers at the Pashupatinath temple, located on the banks of the Bagmati river. The Pashupatinath temple is regarded as the most sacred and oldest temple of Shiva (Pashupati) in Nepal. Congress leader Ashok Gehlot accused Modi of "influencing the voters" in Karnataka as the PM chose to visit the famed temples in Nepal on Karnataka polling day. 8. BJP, Congress CM candidates thank voters As polling for the Karnataka assembly drew to a close today, Chief Ministerial aspirants of both national parties, Congress and the BJP, thanked people for participating in the election process and expressed hope about public support in their favour. "Dear People of Karnataka, Thank you for exercising your franchise today. I thank all the officers & staff connected with conducting the Election for their hard work & sincerity. And finally, to all the workers of the Congress party - I am indebted to you for all your efforts," Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said in a tweet. 9. Yeddyurappa mentally disturbed, says Siddaramaiah Siddaramaiah ridiculed Yeddyurappa after voting on Saturday, saying the BJP leader was "mentally disturbed" and that the Congress was sure of bagging more than 120 seats. 10. Pink booths, cheat-free EVMs and other firsts From all-women managed 'Pink Booths' to the use of third generation Electronic Voting Machines, the assembly elections in Karnataka are marked by several firsts. As the outcry about the alleged vulnerability of the EVMs to tampering grew louder, the Election Commission has come up with the 'M3 EVMs' that are tamper proof and stops when attempts are made to meddle with it. On a pilot basis, the Election commission chose five assembly constituencies in Bengaluru-- Rajarajeshwari Nagar (polling in this constituency have been postponed), Shivajinagar, Shanthinagar, Gandhi Nagar and Rajaji Nagar in Bengaluru. The machine, according to sources in the office of the chief electoral officer, has features like display of battery status and digital certification. The machine can report about the malfunction on its own, they said. In a women-oriented step, 450 "pink booths" called 'Sakhi' were set up.