Karnataka polls: Congress likely to finalise first list of candidates today

Kenny Tucker
April 14, 2018

On another controversial matter of the decision of the state government to recommend to the Centre to recognise Lingayat community as a separate religious denomination, 52 per cent voters said that it would be a major issue for the upcoming Karnataka election.

An opinion poll by India Today has predicted that the Congress will emerge as the single largest party and BJP may not be able to secure enough seats to dislodge the Siddaramaiah government.

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.

Compared to how things now stand in the Karnataka Assembly, the Congress will see its seat-share fall while the BJP will see its numbers go up. The BJP is expected to improve its tally from 50 to over 70.

The first list of Congress candidates for the May 12 assembly elections in Karnataka was delayed after differences cropped up among members of the party's central election committee (CEC) that met on Friday. In terms of vote share, the Congress will get 37 per cent of votes, the BJP 35 per cent and the JD (S)-BSP alliance 19 per cent, suggested the opinion poll. The BJP, which wants to dismantle the Congress Party and throw it out of power will have to be content with anywhere between 78 to 86 seats. Support for giving the party a second chance is particularly high among Muslims (65 percent).

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An overwhelming 45% of those surveyed believe that the Congress should be given a second chance. Only 32 per cent supported the Congress government's move to celebrate Tipu Jayanti while 44 per cent opposed the decision.

Price rise, corruption and lack of access to drinking water are among the other top issues of concern, according to the India Today-Karvy Insights opinion poll.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has scored fairly well after being in power for five years.

The decision on the seats for Siddaramaiah, whose political career has mostly been in the southern part of the state, comes at a time when Karnataka is witnessing one of its most fiercely contested elections in recent times. The perception that Siddaramaiah's performance has been very good or good is relatively weaker among the Vokkaliga, Lingayats and Brahmins, the survey adds.

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