70% voter turnout in Karnataka

70% voter turnout in Karnataka

Exit polls in the southern Indian state of Karnataka on Saturday suggest Narendra Modi's BJP could emerge as the leading party, potentially boosting the prime minister's chances of winning a second term in general elections early next year.

"I thank them for their support and wish them well", People are lining up in Badami constituency where Cngress candidate for CM post Siddaramaiah is contesting against BJP's B Sriramulu.

A voter turnout of 24 percent has been recorded so far in the Karnataka assembly elections till 11 a.m.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday asserted that the Congress would come back to power with a clear majority and dubbed his political rival, BJP's B.S. Yeddyurappa as "mentally disturbed" on his claim that he would form the next government in the state.

Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said the figure was likely to go up as data was still being collated from various polling stations where people queued up beyond 6 p.m. when the voting was supposed to end. "I welcome all my young friends who are voting for the first time in Karnataka". Chief Minister Siddaramaiahs welfare schemes seem to have worked for him. Interestingly, no incumbent government has been re-elected in Karnataka since 1985. Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal (Secular) have been campaigning aggressively in the state for the last few months.

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According to the official, all the arrangements regarding the Assembly elections are being done.

As polling for 222 of the 224-member Karnataka Assembly concluded, different media organisations and poll observers were struggling to predict a possible scenario. Polling in Jayanagar has been deferred due to death of BJP candidate Vijay Kumar and in Rajarajeshwari Nagar it has been deferred to May 28 after over 9500 EPIC cards were found illegally stored in a city apartment.

Going by 2013 results in urban regions, both the Congress and the BJP got 13 and 12 seats each while JDS got only 3 seats.

Over 2,600 candidates are in the fray- more than 2400 men and and over 200 women.

Counting of votes will take place on May 15.

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