Karnataka poll: Parties wait for Wednesday's vote count

Bangalore, May 6 (IANS) A day after Karnataka recorded high voting of over 71 percent in the assembly election, political leaders Monday assessed its impact and hoped for a clear verdict Wednesday when vote count would take place.

"People have seen the working of the coalition governments and want a stable government," state Congress chief G. Parameshwara told reporters here.

He was confident that the Congress would get a clear majority in the 225-member assembly, though several exit polls Sunday predicted that the party may miss the half-way mark of 113 by a few seats or just manage to cross it.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the third major political force in the state, the Janata Dal-Secular, have dismissed the exit poll findings that they have to be content with being a distant second and third respectively.

Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and JDS leader and former chief minister H. D. Kumaraswamy said late Sunday that vote count Wednesday would prove these polls wrong.

Both were confident that their parties would get a majority.

Vote count would take place in 36 centres across the state from 8 a.m., state chief electoral officer Anil Kumar Jha told reporters here Monday.

Balloting took place Sunday for 223 seats as polling in one constituency, Periyapatna in Mysore district, has been put off following the death of BJP candidate.

Karnataka has been hit by political instability since 2004 when the Congress was voted out of power and neither BJP nor JD-S got clear majority. BJP had emerged as the single largest party with 79 seats.

The state saw two coalition governments collapse in 2004-2007, first the Congress-JD-S and second JD-S-BJP.

In the 2008 assembly poll, the BJP again won the highest number of seats, 110, and formed the government with the help of Independents but corruption scandals and dissidence forced the party to have three chief ministers in over four years.