With nearly a month to go before the votes cast in Karnataka for the 28 Lok Sabha seats are counted, political parties are trying to fathom the likely results by analyzing factors like voter turnout and ground reports.
Though senior Congress leaders like Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and state Congress president G Parameshwara have stated the Congress will get 20 of 28 seats, state intelligence reports have put the figure at a more conservative 14 to 18 range, sources familiar with analysis of the elections provided to the state government said.
The BJP has also claimed the possibility of winning 20 seats in the state on the back of a perceived Modi wave but post-poll analysis has pegged the figure down to a more conservative range of eight to 12 seats.
Leader of the Janata Dal (Secular) H D Kumaraswamy, who had earlier said the JD(S) will win around 13 seats, has since the elections scaled down the prospects to winning around seven to eight seats. Surveys and reports suggest two seats.
Much of the analysis of the possible outcome of the elections is based on the 68 per cent turnout compared to the 2009 polls when the voter turnout was 59 per cent.
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The Congress, which won 122 of 224 seats in the state Assembly a year ago when the voter turnout was a record 72 per cent, are of the view that the increased turnout would benefit the party like it did in May 2013 when an anti-incumbency wave against a corrupt BJP government swept the party to power.
The BJP is confident that its “Ab ki bar Modi sarkar” cry brought out voters intent on voting against the misgovernance of the UPA in large numbers. The record 77 percent voting in the coastal districts was attributed to a saffron surge for Modi, by the president of the Dakshina Kannada unit of the party, Pratapsimha Nayak.
Election analysts however are exercising caution on predicting the outcome of the polls on the basis of the turnout alone.
“Earlier, a higher voter turnout was viewed as a consolidation of the Congress votebase but outcomes cannot be discerned by turnouts in this election since old equations have changed. In the coastal districts, it may be on account of the saffron surge,” says Congress leader B L Shankar.
“Normally a high voter turnout is attributed to a vote against the incumbent government. In this case, however, there are multiple factors at play,” said an analyst.
In places like Bangalore, where voting percentages are traditionally low, the nearly nine per cent increase in voting this time is also attributed to middle class voters turning out to support new parties like the Aam Aadmi Party.