Karnataka exit polls suggest BJP may be leading party

Vastavam web: Exit polls in 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.Both Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that has dominated Indian politics since independence, have campaigned hard in Karnataka, a state of 66 million people with diverse constituencies.

Modi is seeking to wrest control over one of the few places left in the hands of the opposition Congress party and with the help of other small parties, Modi’s party has captured power in some other states such as Goa.Another poll by India Today TV, released after voting closed on Saturday, predicted 106-118 seats for the Congress party in Karnataka, which is the only place in South India where the BJP has ever managed to win control of the state government.Votes will be counted on Tuesday and exit polls and other surveys have often been wrong in India. Political parties said it was too quick to call the election result.State capital Bengaluru is regarded as the home of India’s “Silicon Valley”, while voters in farming and mining areas have very different priorities from urban dwellers.

Voters elected Modi in 2014 on his promise of reforms that could unlock growth in the economy, but there has been disquiet over his stance toward India’s non-Hindu minorities, and the pain resulting from some of the economic steps taken.