Karnataka polls: Internal differences delay Cong's first list of candidates

Laverne Higgins
April 14, 2018

First, a survey by C-Fore had said that not only will the Congress party be back in the government on 15 May, but also improve its tally compared to 2013 assembly polls. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may win between 78 and 86 seats in Karnataka, which is heading towards a hung Assembly, said the opinion poll results. "This is the first major lead in the first stage of the poll campaign".

Parliament members Prahlad Joshi, Suresh Angadi and Prabhakar Kore accompanied Mr Shah during the Kittur visit.

The poll panel had set up an internal inquiry after BJP's social media chief Amit Malviya had tweeted the Assembly election schedule a little before the EC press conference.

The surveyors add that the ruling Congress will achieve an overall vote share of 37%, leaving the BJP and JD (S) with 35% and 19% respectively.

While the Congress will see its seat tally come down, there is a silver lining in store for the party: most in Karnataka want the JD (S)-BSP combine to lend its support to the Congress while 39 per cent want the JD (S)-BJP to tie up with the Congress in case of a hung Assembly and barely 29 per cent want the party to ally with BJP. Out of all the interviews, 62 per cent were conducted in rural areas, the remaining in urban centres.

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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.

Nearly 45 percent of electorate in Karnataka are of the opinion that the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in Karnataka should be given another chance. However, two of its Muslim leaders and sitting MLAs - Zameer Ahmed Khan and Iqbal Ansari have joined the Congress party recently, signifying party's losing rapport with the community. Only 32 per cent supported the Congress government's move to celebrate Tipu Jayanti while 44 per cent opposed the decision.

An overwhelming 45% of those surveyed believe that the Congress should be given a second chance.

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 and is relatively weaker among the Vokkaliga, Lingayats and Brahmins.

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