BJP makes a comeback in Karnataka, hung House likely

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Bangalore, April 16: It is a warning to Congress and a booster shot for the BJP and Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar. A survey commissioned by the BJP's leadership says that the BJP has made a comeback and predicts a hung Assembly with JDS becoming a kingmaker.

The surprise element of the survey is that the BJP has not lost everything, in fact it has regained lost ground and only five percent of the voters consider corruption as an election issue.

The survey by the Prabodhan Research Group gives the Congress 95 seats, the BJP 81, JD(S) will bag 27 seat, the KJP, the BSR Congress and independents will not single digit in number of seats. In other election surveys the Congress was given over 100 seats.

Why the dip for the Congress in this survey. Though the survey was conducted between January and March, it says that confusion in ticket distribution in the Congress (with last 40 seats taking four days to decide) and the intense fighting among leaders for the chief minister's chair could impact the fortunes of the party.

However, there is good news for the BJP. The survey says that the BJP bastion of Bombay-Karnataka is intact and it can still count on the coastal areas. Despite the poor showing in last month's urban local bodies elections, the survey predicts that in Mangalore, Udupi and other coastal constituencies, the  Hindu-Muslim issue will help the BJP.

On the other hand, the Congress will make gains in the South than the northern Karnataka. Even in Hyderabad-Karnataka and in Bangalore, the Congress could look for few seats due to the KJP factor.

The kingmaker JD(S) still retains its hold in Hassan and the old Mysore region.

The BSR Congress is expected to win a few seats in Hyderabad-Karnataka.

The survey was conducted among 80,000 voters, with 350 voters from each assembly segment. It took into account the voting pattern in the previous election, considerations like caste, sex and religion to arrive at its conclusions.

Two other surveys conducted for media companies had given the Congress a minimum of 105 seats and the BJP a maximum of about 70 seats.

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