Gains by the BJP in the Karnataka assembly election next month will fall short of a majority, an opinion poll showed, potentially forcing it to seek an alliance to end the rule of the Congress party in its last big state.
A win in Karnataka, the first of three key states to vote this year ahead of a 2019 general election, would give Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party a huge foothold in the south and bolster his chances of The BJP could more than double its tally to 89 seats in the 224-seat assembly in the state election, but fall two seats short of the Congress tally, according to the opinion poll by television station Times Now and VotersMood Research aired late on Monday.
Regional party Janata Dal (Secular), of former Prime Minister Deve Gowda, together with smaller ally the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), is likely to win 40 seats and emerge as the kingmaker in an assembly that needs 113 seats for a majority, the poll showed.
Another opinion poll conducted for the India Today news channel this month also predicted that both the Congress and BJP, on their own, would fall short of a majority.
The Janata Dal is confident of forming its own government with the BSP and would not support the BJP or Congress, its spokesman, Ramesh Babu, said.
He denied that the party had a “secret pact” with the BJP, as some Congress leaders in the state have suggested.