After several exit polls gave the Congress a slight lead in Karnataka, former chief minister B S Yediyurappa expressed full confidence that his party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), will continue to govern the southern state.
"Even now I am 100 per cent confident we are going to form the government with absolute majority. There is no question of hung assembly or coalition government..." he told news agency ANI.
Yediyurappa predicted that his party would win 115-117 seats, which would bring them just a little over the mark to secure a majority in the 224-member Karnataka assembly.
On the question of a post-poll deal with Janata Dal (Secular), who are unlikely winners with an expectation of 33 seats at best, Yediyurappa said, "We are going to get 115-117 seats, so question of joining with JD(S) right now does not arise."
Yediyurappa's statement followed state Congress chief D K Shivakumar denial of post-poll cooperation with the JD(S).
The Congress and JD(S) had joined forces to become the ruling party coalition after the 2018 election. However, some MLAs defecting to the BJP the next year resulted in the downfall of the Congress-JD(S) government.
Shivakumar ruled out alliance with the JD(S) and asserted that they will independently form the government, despite the predicted close contest with the BJP.
Multiple exit polls suggest the Congress party has a possible edge in the Karnataka assembly election 2023, with a hung assembly not ruled out.
The predictions imply that H D Kumaraswamy's JD(S) could hold the key for either the BJP or Congress to form the government.
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