Fine if Congress picks a dalit CM, says Siddaramaiah

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The turnout was the highest-ever in Karnataka since the 1952 Assembly elections, he said.

Both Mr Modi and Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi, travelled across the state, addressing huge rallies.

And so emerges the big question - if indeed there's a hung assembly, will Deve Gowda, Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah put their egos aside and form a coalition?

Only the average of seats predicted by two surveys showed any party reaching halfway mark - and one survey predicted this for the Congress, another predicted it for the BJP.

Also most exit polls forecast hung Assembly with a possibility of the JD (S) emerging as the kingmaker. Siddharamaiah and D. Devaraj Urs (1972-77) are the only two Chief Ministers to complete five years in office as the Chief Minister of the State since the State of Mysore was renamed Karnataka (1973).

Of the 224 seats up for grabs (113 seats needed for simple majority), exit polls on average predict 89 seats for the INC, 101 for BJP and 30 for the regional party Janata Dal (Secular) (JD (S)). In 2005, the former prime minister had sacked the Karnataka CM from the party after which Siddaramaiah joined the Congress. National General Secretary Danish Ali said that Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah and the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) CM candidate Yeddyurappa claims will prove wrong when the results will be declared. Nanjamari, the Congress says, is a BJP member though she denies it. Deputy Election Commissioner Chandra Bhushan Kumar has sent his report to the Election Commission after investigating this incident.

Knowing the farsightedness of Deve Gowda, he would not take the blame for having denied a dalit from becoming the chief minister. In case of any negative surprise, we may see corrective action taking Nifty to 10,550-10,400 over coming weeks. However, his party has reportedly kept the doors open for Congress.

A victory in Karnataka will also reflect the enduring charisma of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his capacity to power his party to victory across the country, clearing demographic and topographical obstacles. He maintained that the Congress would secure absolute majority.

On being asked about the poll outcome in Karnataka, he said, "I do not believe in some of the exit polls that I have seen".

Voting for the Karnataka Assembly polls took place on Saturday. On the exit polls, he remarked, "They may be true to some extent but not completely true".

"We have fought this election on the plank of our 5 year performance and our vision for the state".

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