Due to this, the importance of JD (S) has spiked since whoever it chooses to make an alliance with, makes the next government in Karnataka.
Among the prominent candidates are Chief Minister Siddaramaiah from Chamundeshwari district in Mysuru and Badami in Bagalkot and his son Yatindra from Varuna in Mysuru.
The Janata Dal-Secular of former Prime Minister H.D. Dewe Gowda, which has been expected to play the role of a kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly, was leading in 43 seats.
The Thiruvananthapuram MP, who campaigned for the Congress candidates in Karnataka, said he didn't believe the predictions made by most of the exit polls.
Earlier this year, for example, the Meghalaya governor invited a coalition of the BJP and other parties to form the government even though the Congress Party was the largest in terms of MLAs.
ABP C-Voter exit poll has predicted 101-113 seats for the BJP, claiming that the saffron party is likely to reach the "magic figure" of 113 seats.
While a victory would help boost the sagging morale of the Congress, which is on a downhill journey losing state after state since Narendra Modi came to power at the Centre, defeat in Karnataka, the only big state it rules apart from Punjab, may further slowdown the momentum for the party.
India Today-Axis My India surveyed 70,574 voters in all the 222 assemblies that went to polls.
The Congress won 122 seats and the BJP 40 seats in the last state election in 2013. At the same time, Congress leaders began to speak about the possibility of an alliance with the JD-S. It said that the JD (S) will win 30-39 seats and others 2-4 seats.
CM Siddaramaiah had on Sunday said he is open to making way for a Dalit chief minister if the Congress high command decides so, hinting that the Congress was seeking an alliance with the HD Deve Gowda-led party.
It has become customary for "national" media of different persuasions to carry out their exit polls and speculate on the election results.
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