Congress wins Karnataka Assembly Polls, Supports Celebrates by Chanting Slogans, Rahul Gandhi Praises Party Leader

On Saturday, Congress supporters across India celebrated their party’s win in the Karnataka assembly polls by chanting slogans and waving the party flag. Party leader Rahul Gandhi praised the party’s leaders and workers for their resounding victory, stating that the party had fought the election with love. He also pledged to fulfill the party’s five guarantees in the southern state. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Congress and wished them success in fulfilling the people’s aspirations. Now, all attention is focused on the Congress’s decision for the Chief Minister post, with DK Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah considered top contenders.

Initially, it appeared to be a close contest between the BJP and Congress, but the situation changed quickly, leading to several Congress workers gathering in front of the party offices across the country. The results made it clear that the BJP had lost the 224-member assembly polls in the southern state. Congress stalwart Siddaramaiah said that the outcome of the Karnataka Assembly elections would be a stepping stone for the party’s victory in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. He also expressed his hope that former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi would become the Prime Minister. Siddaramaiah believed that the Karnataka election results were a “mandate” against PM Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. He expected the non-BJP parties to come together at the national level.

Both Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah thanked the Gandhis as Congress crossed the majority mark in the 2023 Karnataka polls. While Shivakumar was emotional, remembering his jail days and Sonia Gandhi’s visit back then, Siddaramaiah pitched for “Rahul Gandhi for PM.”

In another development, Congress requested “winning candidates” to reach the Hilton Hotel in Bengaluru after receiving their certificates. A meeting of the newly-elected MLAs is scheduled on Sunday, but the venue has not yet been finalized.

Counting of votes for the crucial Karnataka Assembly poll 2023 began at 8 am, with the BJP confident of proving the exit poll results wrong, the Congress hoping to secure a comfortable majority, and the JD(S) seeming to be ready to play the “kingmaker” role. Section 144 was imposed in Karnataka’s capital city Bengaluru, where traffic restrictions were also introduced for the counting day. Section 144 would remain imposed in the entire district from 6 am on Saturday to 12 am on Sunday. Liquor sale was also banned in the Bengaluru police commissionerate region.

The magic number, the majority mark, was 113 in Karnataka with 224 assembly constituencies.

While the official numbers would come by late evening, Congress won with a comfortable majority and did not require any support to form the next government in Karnataka. The electoral fortunes of top leaders and key candidates like outgoing Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai of the BJP, Congress heavyweights Siddaramaiah, DK Shivakumar, JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy, and many others were sealed on May 10 when the state voted in 224 assembly constituencies in a single-phased assembly poll.


Exit Poll Predictions:

The majority of the exit polls predicted a close competition between the Congress and BJP in the upcoming elections. However, most pollsters gave the Congress a slight advantage, which the BJP is determined to disprove. On the other hand, JD(S) seems to anticipate an inconclusive outcome, which would allow them to play a critical role in forming the government.

The ABP News-C Voter exit poll projected that the Congress would secure 100-112 seats, while the BJP would obtain 83-95 seats and JD(S) would win 21-29 seats. Meanwhile, the Republic TV-P MARQ poll forecasted that the Congress would get 94-108 seats, BJP 85-100 seats, and JD(S) 24-32 seats.

India Today-Axis My India predicted that BJP would win 62-80 seats, Congress 122-140 seats, and JD(S) 20-25 seats. The India TV-CNX exit poll estimated that Congress might secure 110-120 seats, BJP 80-90 seats, and JD(S) 20-24 seats.

According to the TV9 Bharatvarsh-Polstrat poll, Congress might win 99-109 seats, BJP 88-98 seats, and JD(S) 21-26 seats. The Zee News-Matrize survey suggested that Congress is likely to win 103-118 seats, BJP 79-94 seats, and JD(S) 25-33 seats.

As per the News Nation-CGS poll, BJP may obtain 114 seats, Congress 86 seats, and JD(S) 21 seats. The Suvarna News-Jan Ki Baat poll predicted that BJP would secure 94-117 seats, Congress 91-106 seats, and JD(S) 14-24 seats.

Finally, the Times Now-ETG exit polls anticipated Congress to win 113 seats, BJP to win 85 seats, and JD(S) to win 23 seats.


Who are the Key Candidates:

Some of the prominent candidates from Congress include Siddaramaiah, DK Shivakumar, and Jagadish Shettar, who made headlines after switching from BJP following the denial of a ticket. Additionally, Laxman Savadi and Priyank Kharge, the son of Mallikarjun Kharge, are also key contenders from the Congress party.

On the other hand, the BJP has put forward Basavaraj Bommai as their chief ministerial candidate, along with Vijayendra Yediyurappa, the son of former chief minister BS Yediyurappa, CT Ravi, and Ramesh Jarkiholi as its primary candidates.

Among the notable candidates from JD(S), HD Kumaraswamy and his son Nikhil Kumaraswamy are some of the leading faces in the party.

In 2018, the BJP won the highest number of seats with 104, followed by Congress with 80 seats and JD(S) with 37. Additionally, one independent candidate, one candidate from BSP, and one candidate from Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party (KPJP) also secured seats.

During the 2018 elections, Congress obtained a vote share of 38.04%, while the BJP received 36.22% and the JD(S) 18.36%.

Since no party achieved a clear majority, Congress and JD(S) attempted to form an alliance, but BJP’s BS Yediyurappa claimed the government’s formation as his party had the highest number of seats. However, his government dissolved before the trust vote, as he was unable to gather enough support.

Following this, the Congress-JD(S) alliance formed the government with Kumaraswamy as the chief minister. This government fell after 14 months, following the resignation of 17 ruling coalition legislators, who defected to the BJP.

As a result, the BJP returned to power, winning 12 out of 15 seats in the subsequent bypolls held in 2019. In the current Assembly, the BJP has 116 MLAs, followed by Congress with 69, JD(S) with 29, BSP and independents each with one, the speaker with one, and six vacant seats due to deaths and resignations of members who joined other parties ahead of the elections.