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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Karnataka Election Results Tomorrow: From Varuna to Shiggaon, High-stakes Contests to Watch Out for

The counting of votes polled for the May 10 Karnataka Assembly polls, which witnessed a fierce fight between archrivals BJP and the Congress, besides the JD(S) will be taken up on Saturday as the parties are waiting with bated breath to know their fate over the
possibility of a hung assembly.

The electoral fortunes of top leaders- Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai of the BJP, Congress heavyweights Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar and JD(S)’ HD Kumaraswamy, among many others will be known on Saturday.

The counting will begin at 8 am in 36 centres across the state, and poll officials expect a clear picture about the outcome is likely to emerge by mid-day. Elaborate security arrangements have been made across the State, especially in and around the counting centres, to avoid any untoward incidents, official sources said.

The State registered a “record” turnout of 73.19 per cent in the voting on May 10, to elect representatives to the 224 member Assembly.With most exit polls predicting a tight contest between the Congress and BJP, leaders of the two parties seem “jittery” over the outcome, while the JD(S) appears to be expecting a hung verdict, which would enable it to play a role in government formation.

Let’s look at some interesting contests to watch out for:
Varuna
Siddaramaiah from Congress, V. Somanna of the BJP, and Dr. Bharathi Shankar of the JD(S) are the three leading competitors for the seat.Just five months ago, it appeared that former Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah would easily win his home constituency of Varuna. But that is no longer the case, according to a Deccan Herald report. The race between two figures with Janata Parivar origins promises to be a anticipatory clash, with Housing Minister V Somanna entering the field and BJP bigwigs travelling the length and breadth of the seat.

Kanakapura
, Kanakapura will see a high-profile struggle between BJP politician and current Revenue Minister R. Ashok and KPCC Chief D.K. Shivakumar. Ashok is a prominent BJP official who formerly served as Karnataka’s deputy chief minister. On the other hand, this is a stronghold for Vokkaliga strongman Shivakumar Kanakapura, who has held the seat since 2008 and has grown his vote share over the years. This time, R. Ashok is perceived as an outsider, and he may face a difficult challenge. Nagaraj has been fielded by the JD(S).

Shiggaon
Shiggaon will be a close race between CM Basavaraj Bommai and Congress candidate Yasir Ahmed Khan Pathan.The electoral odds are stacked in favour of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai in Shiggaon, where he is seeking re-election for the fourth time, according to a Deccan Herald report.

The report says that Bommai’s chances did not look promising until the Panchamasali movement reached a climax in the fourth quarter of 2022. However, the BJP’s decision to create a separate reservation category for Lingayats and appease Panchamasali leaders with positions on boards and corporations aided the party’s prospects. Furthermore, it is claimed that Congress’ indecision in selecting a candidate has swung the pendulum in Bommai’s favour.

Channapatna
Former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy will face former BJP minister CP Yogeshwar, who has previously run for this seat. The Congress has nominated Gangadhar S. to run in this seat, which could result in a three-way race. The outcome of this constituency is likely to be tight and might have a considerable impact on the election outcomes, particularly for the JD(S), CNBC-TV18 reports.

Hubali-Dharwad Central
The Hubballi-Dharwad Central assembly constituency has captured the nation’s attention after current MLA and former chief minister Jagadish Shettar resigned from the BJP, a party with which he has familial links. He is running for the sixth time as a Congress candidate after being denied a ticket by the BJP.

He will face Mahesh Tenginakai of the BJP and Siddalingeshgowda Odeyar of the JD(S). Former Chief Minister Jagdish Shettar has a significant support base in the Lingayat group, which is reported to be dominant in the seat. Shettar was elected to the legislature for the first time from this seat in 1994, and he has served six terms.

Udupi
The sensitive Udupi constituency is expected to witness a three-cornered battle. Yashpal Suvarna, a strong Hindutva advocate who rose to notoriety during the hijab debate, has been nominated by the BJP. Suvarna will compete against Prasadraj Kanchan of the Congress and Dakshat R. Shetty of the JD(S). The campaign in Udupi is expected to be close, with each candidate vying for victory.

Athani
In Athani, an exciting battle is brewing between two old rivals: sitting BJP MLA Mahesh Kumathalli and former deputy chief minister Laxman Savadi, who is running as a Congress candidate after recently defecting from the BJP, as per a report by New Indian Express.
Ramesh Jarkiholi, a Gokak BJP MLA, is leading the campaign for Kumathalli, while Savadi, who has won the seat three times as a BJP candidate, is working hard to recapture it.
Savadi’s defection from the BJP to the Congress after being denied a ticket has enraged the saffron party. Jarkiholi has been camped here for months to ensure Kumathalli’s triumph.

Hassan
In the 2019 Karnataka Assembly elections, the Hassan constituency is expected to be contested by the BJP, Congress, and JD(S). Preetham Gowda has been nominated by the BJP, while Banavasi Rangaswamy has been nominated by the Congress. Swaroop Prakash will run for the JD(S) in the election.

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