Amid reports that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah might shift his constituency for the May 12 Karnataka Assembly polls, BJP president Amit Shah on Friday said this was the "first major lead" that the saffron party would win the election. The Janata Dal (Secular) leader is the incumbent MLA from Chamundeshwari and considered a very strong contender for retaining the seat.
While the Congress is estimated to win 90-101 seats, its primary challenger BJP is slated to win 78-86 seats. In 2013 he had defeated MG Mamadapur of JD (S) by 15,113 votes.
The survey suggests that the JD (S), with 34-43 seats, will be in a position to align with any of the national parties to be part of the ruling coalition. The opinion poll predicts a 37% vote share to Congress, while the BJP is expected to garner 35% vote share.
Last time around, in the 2013 Assembly polls, CM Siddaramaiah had stormed in to power by winning 121 seats. BJP, which won 40 seats in 2013, is likely to nearly double its tally winning 78 to 86 seats.
The Congress government has spent around ₹55,000 crore in North Karnataka on various development projects such as irrigation, roads, and rural development, etc. Among Hindus, 44 per cent feel the Congress deserves a second chance.
For JD(S), Karnataka Polls is a Battle of Existence
The India Today-Karvy Insights pre-poll survey predictions are quite similar to those of a TV9 Kannada-C-Voter opinion poll published in January.
BJP chief Amit Shah said his party was ready to take up any issue but that the Congress did not allow the Parliament to function in the recently concluded session which saw more disruptions than discussions leading to a complete washout. That poll, too, had predicted JD (S) to be the deciding factor in forming the government.
While it is believed that JD (S) has considerable support from Vokkaligas and Lingayats - two dominant castes in the state, the alliance with the BSP will help the party to garner support from Dalits and backward castes in the state.
Although the BJP and the Congress are done with several rounds of campaigning in the state, the campaigning strategy of JD (S) has also been strategically crafted, which is about concentrating on limited constituencies where it has the ground-level reach.