Exit polls hint hung House in Karnataka

By LokMarg Hung Assembly. This was the unanimous verdict of various exit polls conducted by separate news channel and psephology agencies, placing the HD Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular) in the position to be a king-maker in the elections to Karnataka Assembly. Any party or alliance will need the support of 112 MLAs to form the new government in the 224-seat Assembly. Polling was held on Saturday 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. There was unanimity among the various exit polls of a close contest between the Congress and the BJP, even though separate surveys gave the edge to one party or the other adding up to the suspense about the outcome, which is seen as a semi-final for the 2019 General Elections. Republic TV-Jan Ki Baat and ABP-C Voter predicted that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will emerge as the single largest party by bagging 104 and 104-116 seats respectively in the House. The two news channels gave the incumbent Congress 78 and 83-94 seats and JD(S) 37 and 20-29 seats respectively. This was surprising in a way because Republic TV is seen as a pro-establishment while the ABP has an anti-establishment (read BJP) according to most poll pundits. The other side of the story came from India Today-Axis exit poll, which put the Congress in the pole position and predicted its tally in the range of 106-118 seats while of the BJP between 79-92. The poll saw the JD(S) tally between 22-30 seats. The Poll of Exit Polls on NDTV forecast 97, 90 and 31 seats for the BJP, the Congress and the JD(S) respectively. Times Now-VMR predicted that the BJP will win 94 seats while the Congress will bag 97 and the JD)S) 28. However, Times Now-Chanakya forecast a majority for the BJP with 120 seats and gave the Congress and the JD(S) 73 and 26 seats respectively. 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. The BJP has declared B S Yeddyurappa as its chief ministerial candidate. Unless all the surveys are proved wrong, one thing is certain that the JD(S) will be in a position to strike a profitable deal for themselves from either the Congress or the BJP in lieu of lending their valueable support. (With inputs from agencies)]]>

In praise of the Sultan: President has last word

President Kovind Prasied Tippu Contribution in Freedom movement in joint session speech now.BJP MLA are stunned to hear.????

— Kashyap Nandan (@kashyapnandan_) October 25, 2017 The BJP has been opposing the celebrations calling Tipu “anti-Hindu and anti-Kannada”. In his speech, the President referred to Tipu Sultan as a “pioneer” in the development of Mysore rockets (iron-cast rockets for military use) and said that he died a “historic death” fighting the British, leaving BJP leaders fuming. Recalling the contributions of Karnataka’s former rulers, politicians and scientists in the growth of the state and the country on the whole, the President spoke of Tipu Sultan, leading to loud applause from a majority of the legislators. “The speech was a deliberate attempt by the Congress to make the President praise Tipu Sultan,” senior BJP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister K.S. Eshwarappa said after the joint session of the state legislature marking the diamond jubilee of Vidhana Soudha. But Siddaramaiah insisted that Kovind’s speech was the “President’s own”. “We have not prepared the President’s speech. We have not even sent any note to the Rashtrapati Bhavan,” the Chief Minister said in a statement. “Some leaders are unnecessarily creating a controversy out of the issue. It is very unfortunate and condemnable,” he said. Attacking BJP state President and former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, Siddaramaiah questioned why the leader had taken part in Tipu Jayanti celebrations earlier. “When Yeddyurappa was a part of Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) (which was once headed by Yeddyurappa), he took part in a function dressed as Tipu. (BJP leader) Jagadish Shettar had written a preface to a book on Tipu calling him a ‘patriot’. Why are they against Tipu now?” he asked. Karnataka Working President of the Congress Dinesh Gundu Rao said the BJP was only “insulting” the President by criticising his speech. “They (BJP) are only insulting our country’s President,” Rao told media here. The Janata Dal-Secular leaders from the state meanwhile expressed disappointment over the President’s speech missing out mention of former Prime Minister and JD-S leader H.D. Deve Gowda, while naming the former chief ministers from the state. Following the President’s speech, state JD-S chief H.D. Kumaraswamy was seen boycotting the photo session of the legislators with the President. The Chief Minister stated that it could have been “unintentional” that the name was not mentioned by the President. The ruling Congress began celebrating Tipu’s birth anniversary since 2015, which led to violent protests by right-wing organisations in the Mysore region and other parts of the state. Known as the ‘Tiger of Mysore’, Tipu Sultan ruled the Mysore kingdom from 1782-1799 succeeding his father Haider Ali. (IANS) // ]]>