Bengaluru, Dec 8: Karnataka Assembly elections will take place sometime in May 2018 and the political temperature in the state is already rising. Congress dislodged Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2013 elections winning 122 seats while the latter managed to bag only 40 in the 224-member Assembly. Janata Dal (Secular) also won 40 seats while the other seats saw smaller parties and independents emerging victorious.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is scheduled to go on a state-wide tour from December 13 even as BJP and JDS leaders have already fanned out across the state to campaign against the Congress rule. Congress has already clarified that Siddaramaiah will continue to remain the chief minister if the party retained the state.

Meanwhile, predictions about who will win the next election are already doing the rounds and in the last few days three surveys have been conducted in the state. The agencies who have carried out the pre-poll surveys are C-Fore, Creative Center for Political and Social Studies (COPS) and AZ-Suvarna News.

The C-Fore survey carried out in August stated Congress and BJP are involved in a neck-and-neck battle with the JDS trailing far behind. But most of the respondents in the survey want Siddaramaiah back as the chief minister. Both the Congress and BJP are likely to win 60-72 seats while JDS will get 24 to 30 seats. The smaller parties and independents are expected to win 1 to 6 seats.

The COPS survey gives BJP the edge. According to COPS, BJP will repeat the 2008 show in the only southern state the party has ever ruled. The COPS survey also reveals that BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa is the top choice to occupy the chief minister’s post. The survey gives 117 seats to the BJP, 86 to the Congress while the JDS is likely to win 25 seats.

The AZ-Suvarna News survey also predicts a hung Assembly like the C-Fore. The Congress is expected to get 74 to 93 seats while BJP may win 77 to 92 seats. The JDS is expected to win around 40 seats while 11 seats may go to smaller parties and independents. According to the survey, JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy will emerge as the kingmaker.