After an aggressive election campaign, polling for the Karnataka elections went on peacefully on Saturday, barring few minor disruptions. The state saw a voter turnout of 72.13%.
Immediately after polling concluded at 6 pm, exit polls broadcast by different channels were divided on who would emerge victorious.
In response to this, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah tweeted that it was just entertainment, and proclaimed that the Congress would form the government.
“Exit polls are entertainment for the next 2 days. Relying on poll of polls is like a person who can’t swim crossing a river on foot relying on a statistician who told him the average depth of the river is 4 feet Please note average of 6+4+2 is 4. At 6 feet you drown!”
“Dear party workers, supporters & well wishers, don’t worry about exit polls. Relax & enjoy your weekend. We are coming back.”
So, Dear party workers, supporters & well wishers, don’t worry about exit polls. Relax & enjoy your weekend.— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) May 13, 2018
We are coming back. 2/2
Siddaramaiah, who will finish his five-year term on May 28, also called his opponent Yeddyurappa ‘mentally disturbed.’
“Yeddyurappa is mentally disturbed. The Congress will get more than 120 seats. Poor people from all communities are with us and the Congress will get a clear majority. There is no doubt, no confusion on this,” the Times of India quoted him as saying.
In response, Yeddyurappa, who addressed the media at his Dollars Colony residence on Sunday, said, "It is not me who is mentally disturbed but Siddaramaiah. For the last 15 days, his attitude has been like this.”
Furthermore, he said that Siddaramaiah, who contested from Chamundeshwari and Badami, would lose both seats.
Proclaiming that the BJP will form its government on its own, Yeddyurappa said, “We are going to get a minimum of 125-130 seats. The question of alliance with JD(S) doesn’t arise.”
“I have been in politics for more than 40 years and I have travelled across the state. Until now, my calculations have not been wrong and they won’t be wrong this time also. We will form the government,” he said.
He refused to comment on the exit polls and gave the example of Uttar Pradesh during its 2017 Assembly elections. In UP, pollsters predicted that the Congress and Samajwadi Party would sweep the elections. However, the BJP got a thunderous majority and formed the government.
While the VMR-Times Now poll and India Today-Axis My India predicted that the Congress would emerge as the largest party, the Republic TV-Jan Ki Baat poll predicted that the BJP will emerge victorious with 95-114 seats. Meanwhile, NDTV predicted that it would be a hung assembly, with the BJP winning more seats.