Large voter turnout across Karnataka has made Sidda, Yeddy, Kumara happy.
Everybody seems to be a winner in Karnataka – atleast till May 15 when the voters will have the last laugh. As Karnataka recorded a healthy 36.8% polling by noon today the 222 Assembly seats (One was put off and another postponed), chief ministerial candidates Siddaramaiah, BS Yeddyurappa and HD Kumaraswamy were happy. All three claimed that they would come out with clear majority.
Soon after casting his vote in Chamundeswari, Siddaramaiah said the large turnout is because the poor are happy at the Congress government’s welfare measures. “The poor and all sections are with us. The Congress will come back with absolute majority. The voters of Karnataka are very intelligent and we win with a big margin,” Siddarmaiah said.
But Siddarmaiah betrayed some nervousness as he visited a temple before casting his vote. Earlier he had said he will never visit temples as god is everywhere. But with a tilak on his forehead, he went along with his son to a temple today.
In Shikaripura, BS Yeddyurappa attributed the large turnout to the development programmes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “We will be back. The BJP will get 156 seats,” he said.
JD(S) chief HD Kumaraswamy said the large turnout was because the manifesto “of my party has attracted the poor. A few years ago, one witnessed a Vokaliga wave which saw my father HD Deve Gowda become the CM. This time the Vokaliga wave is much larger and the JD(S) will be back to power in Karnataka,” said Kumaraswamy.
With voting patterns brisk, the question is whether Karnataka will cross the 70.23% record that it had clocked in the previous polls.
In parts of Bengaluru, there were skirmishes between BJP and Congress workers. In Vijayanagara, BJP corporator and his supporters clashed with Congress workers.
Unlike in previous elections, voters in Bengaluru showed enthusiasm to exercise their votes in the crucial elections. Among the early birds at the polling booths were Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble.