Karnataka poll: Parties hope for EVMs to spit out positive outcome

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Political parties and punters are keenly awaiting the result of the May 5 Assembly elections in Karnataka with the votes to be counted on Wednesday. The Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements for counting at 36 centres across the state. Widespread betting is reported in several key constituencies of Mysore, Mandya and Bangalore districts on the outcome.

The fortunes of 2,948 candidates will be decided on Wednesday. The state had witnessed a turnout of 71.3 per cent on May 5, the second highest percentage of voting after 71.9 per cent in the 1978 Assembly elections. With such a high percentage, parties are hoping for a clear verdict for one a party.

All the three major parties – the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular), or JD(S) — have expressed confidence that they would get a majority. However, various exit polls have predicted a near majority for the Congress party. Some exit polls have put the number between 100 seats and 119 seats for the Congress, while estimating a big loss for the ruling BJP.

The BJP and JD-S have dismissed the exit poll findings. Chief minister Jagadish Shettar and JD-S leader and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy said the vote count would prove the exit polls wrong. Both were confident that their parties would secure a majority.

Vote counting will take place from 8 am, chief electoral officer Anil Kumar Jha told reporters here. Voting took place on Sunday for the 223 seats, while polling in one constituency, Periyapatna in Mysore district, was put off to May 28 following the death of the BJP candidate.

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