With barely an hour left for counting of votes for Karnataka elections to begin, the anxiousness and anticipation is mounting. The fate of the candidates is sealed and all that is now left is time for the EC officials to open the EVM seals begin the counting process. Karnataka is a big state with 224 assembly constituencies and what makes the electoral battle interesting is that it is three cornered contest between the Congress, the BJP and the JD (S).
With most of the opinion polls predicting a hung verdict in Karnataka assembly elections, it is being seen that a government can be formed only by the support of Janata Dal (Secular). The commonly debated scenario on most channels these days is that Congress or BJP may bag anywhere between 90- 105 seats and in case JD (S) wins around 20-30 seats then the government formation would be possible only if Deve Gowda-led party lends support. The majority mark to form a goverment in 224 seats Karnataka assembly is 113, but with polls being held in 222 seats, the majority mark as of now stands 112.
The above mentioned scenario has sunk in so much that any statement by Deve Gowda, Kumaraswamy or other JD (S) leaders instantly makes headlines. Yes, JD (S) may emerge as an important factor, but it would be too premature to actually dub them as 'kingmaker'.
We need to consider several scenarios here. If one of the two big parties - Congress or BJP - manage to bag over 105 seats then JD (S) may not be that important as the magic number of 113 can be attained with the help of independents and others. In 2013 elections, apart from big parties, 9 seats were won by independents and local parties such as BSRCP, KMP and SKP managed to bag around 7 seats. Any of the national parties winning close to 105 seats can expect support from these small entities which will rule out the need for an alliance with JD (S).
If the single largest party fails to breach the 100 seats mark, then of course JD (S) would emerge as the kingmaker. In that case, it would not be the bigger party, but the JD (S) calling shots as we have witnessed in the past.