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Karnataka election results updates: BJP leads in 118 seats, Congress in 58
From the Web Desk, 15/05/2018, New Delhi

The Karnataka Assembly election 2018 result will be known on Tuesday as counting of votes began at 8 am. According to the procedure, postal ballots are being counted first. According to TV reports, early trends show the BJP leading in 118 seats, Congress leading in 58 seats, the JD(S) in 44, and others in two seats. Trends showed BJP chief ministerial Candidate B S Yeddyurappa was leading from Shikaripura, while Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was leading from the Badami seat and was trailing from Chamundeshwari. Further, BJP workers were reportedly celebrating outside the party office in Bengaluru.

A record 72.36 per cent of the 50.7 million (5.07 crore) electorate cast their votes, with 27,908 electors in defence services exercising their franchise through postal ballots.

The Election Commission has deployed 16,662 personnel for counting of votes amid tight security. "Postal ballots will be counted first before the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are opened," Kumar said.

The Karnataka election has been billed as the biggest political battle of 2018. The Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) bid to reclaim Karnataka has faced its toughest challenge from one man -- Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who is looking to beat incumbency.

Meanwhile, four of the seven polling agencies predicted in their exit polls that the BJP would emerge as the single-largest party today. While most exit polls predicted a hung Assembly with the BJP ahead, two said the BJP would either come very close to or cross the halfway mark of 112 seats, while the India Today-Axis exit poll said the Congress might bag a majority. All exit polls gave the H D Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular) nearly two dozen seats or more, which could make it the kingmaker if there is a hung Assembly.

A win for the Congress would boost the party's morale for the Assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Mizoram in November-December, and for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. It would also ensure that the party would not be reduced to ruling only one big state, that of Punjab, in the entire country. Apart from Punjab, Congress has governments in only Puducherry and Mizoram.

No government in Karnataka, since the Ramakrishna Hegde-led Janata Party one in 1985, has been re-elected.

Satta bazaar bets big on BJP: The satta bazaar is shortening the odds on a BJP win in Karnataka, even though a third party may eventually feature in the victorious combine. According to the Economic Times, bookies expect the BJP to win 96-98 seats in the Karnataka Assembly, while the Congress may get 85-87 seats. In market parlance, this means bid price is 96 or 85, while the ask price is 98 or 87.



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