Karnataka elections: BJP, Congress confident of win, reject possibility of hung assembly

People stand in a queue to cast their vote for Karnataka assembly elections in Bengaluru on Saturday

To a question on the possibility of a Dalit chief minister, he said, "It is fine if the party decides to have a Dalit chief minister".

The turnout was the highest-ever in Karnataka since the 1952 Assembly elections, he said. However, before the formal announcement of the results, several agencies conducted exit polls, predicting the outcome. He took to Twitter to urge Congress workers to take rest and assured them of a victory with a clear majority. At 6 feet you drown! "The BJP will form the Government with an absolute majority, and the Congress will exit from Karnataka", he added. "Relax & enjoy your weekend", he tweeted on Sunday.

Voters wait in a queue to cast their ballot outside a polling station during Karnataka assembly elections in Bengaluru.

Speaking to reporters in Chamundeshwari constituency, one of the two seats from where he contested in the high-stakes polls, along with Badami in north Karnataka, the Congress leader said, "This will be my last election". Rahul Gandhi and chief minister Siddaramaiah led the Congress' bid to ensure that it defies anti-incumbency to retain power. Deve Gowda, whose JD (S) was third with 58 seats, forced the Congress to make N Dharam Singh Chief Minister - bypassing S M Krishna - of a Congress-JD (S) government. India Today predicted the vote share of the Congress and the BJP at 39% and 35%, respectively while Republic TV pegged vote share for the parties at 36 per cent and 38.25 per cent.

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".time has come for us to build a nation that is productive, prosperous, safe and inclusive".

The other two chief ministerial candidates B.S. Yeddyurappa and H.D. Kumaraswamy from the BJP and JDS respectively, too claimed they would win the elections.

As many as four Exit Polls - have predicted that BJP, whose strength was reduced to mere 40 largely owing to split after Mr Yeddyurappa had walked out of the party, will win more than 100 seats out of 222 seats for which polling took place on Saturday. The Congress knows that it will lose. ".unfortunately, the evidence we have seen in the last four years (of the NDA rule) does not suggest that this country is safe in the hands of the present government", the former Union minister told a press conference in Lucknow.

During Saturday's polling, Karnataka witnessed an all-time high turnout of 73.07 per cent, with districts other than Bengaluru, bettering even the post-Emergency election (1977) record of 71.9 per cent and the 2013 State election figure of 71.45 per cent.

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