Opinion poll predicts a hung Assembly

India Today-Karvy Karnataka opinion poll predicts that JD(S) will be a king maker

New Delhi: The latest opinion poll in Karnataka shows that the Congress will emerge as the single largest party in the Assembly election slated for May 12. According to India Today Group-Karvy Insights opinion poll conducted across all 224 Assembly constituencies, no party is likely to get majority on its own. The opinion poll has predicted a hung Assembly.

The BJP is set to gain in terms of vote share but not enough to bring it back to power. The poll results show that 35 percent of the voters (based on 27,919 interviews) will vote for the BJP.

In 2013, the BJP had suffered a split due to exit of leaders like B.S. Yeddyurappa, who is now party’s CM candidate, and B. Sriramulu. Back then the BJP had got 20 percent vote share in the Assembly election.

The Karnataka Janata Paksha (of Padmanabha Prasanna Kumar and Yeddyurappa) and Badavara Shramikara Raithara Congress Party (BSRCP) of Sriramulu had polled 10 and three percent votes respectively. The combined vote share of a united BJP in 2013 could have been 33 percent.

The Congress had secured 37 percent vote in 2013 to win 122 seats. The party is likely, the opinion poll suggests, to retain its vote share but it will win less number of seats. The Congress is projected to win 90-101 seats with the same vote percentage. The BJP, on the other hand, is expected to improve its number of seats from 50 (after merger of KJP and BSRCP) to 78-86.

The JD(S) seems to be emerging as a kingmaker in post-election Karnataka. Interestingly, JD(S), which has entered into an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of Mayawati, will poll fewer votes than what it did in 2013.

The JD(S)-BSP is likely to get 19 percent of votes. In 2013, the JD(S) had got 20 percent and the BSP one percent of the total votes polled. The party had won 40 seats in 2013 and is expected to win 34-43 seats this time. But it is looking to be in a position to decide who will become the CM after May 15.

Overall 45 percent respondents said that the Siddharamaiah government should get a chance to govern Karnataka for the next five years. It seems to be getting support from wide spectrum of castes and religious groups. About 44 percent of Hindus and 65 percent of Muslims said they wanted the Congress government to come back to power.

About 55 percent of Kurubas (the caste to which Chief Minister Siddharamaiah belongs) favoured the Congress government if the election was held today. It got support from 37 percent Vokkaligas, 37 percent Lingayats and 36 percent Brahmins (below average support).

Around 53 percent of Dalits and 48 percent of Edigas said that they would vote for the Congress in the Assembly election. In case of a coalition government, 39 percent of respondents said that they would like to see the JD (S) allying with the Congress to form the next government. Only 29 percent said that the JD (S) should form an alliance with the BJP to form government in Karnataka. The opinion poll was conducted between Mar. 17 and Apr. 5 this year.

Where do voters stand on issues of separate Flag and Tipu Jayanti?

Responding to a question on the Karnataka government’s decision to make Kannada language mandatory for all schools, 73 percent of the respondents said that they supported the move. Only 16 percent opposed while 10 percent had no opinion.

On the question of Karnataka having its own Flag, six of ten voters supported the Siddharamaiah government. About 59 percent voters said that they were with the government on the issue while 29 percent opposed the move. Rest 12 percent remained non-committal.

On the question of celebrating Tipu Sultan’s birth anniversary, 32 percent supported the Congress government’s move while 44 percent opposed the decision. However, 58 percent Muslim voters favoured celebrating Tipu Sultan’s birth anniversary.

On another controversial matter of the decision of the State government to recommend to the Centre to recognise Lingayat community as a separate religious denomination, 52 percent voters said that it would be a major election issue.

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