Even before the Election Commission (EC) could declare the voter turnout for the 16th Lok Sabha elections, the street betting rate on Narendra Modi plummeted — which was good news for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate.
While the new rate meant that Modi was the bookies’ undisputed favourite for the post of PM, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi remained on the rate list as the second favourite followed by Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mamata Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress (TMC).
In addition, bookies said Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was the least favourite to become PM. In fact, the chances of Kejriwal forming a government at the Centre became more improbable and financially more unviable on the day that the Capital went to polls.
“Betting on Modi, which promised a return of Rs. 0.42 or Rs. 42 on every Rs. 100 invested slunk to Rs. 0.38 or a return of Rs. 38 on every Rs. 100 bet,” a bookmaker told HT.
“Modi’s chances seeming brighter had a ripple effect on the betting rates for other political leaders and had the most effect on the chances of AAP’s Kejriwal. His rate saw an increase of Rs. 100 - which was the most for any leader,” the bookie added.
Earlier, bets on Kejriwal’s PM candidature, though most improbable, had promised a return of Rs. 500 on every Rs. 1 bet over the weekend. However, on polling day the rate of return went up to Rs. 600.
Meanwhile, Delhi Police sources’ said their assessment of the polls put the BJP squarely in the lead when it came to forming a government in the Capital.
“By our estimates, the BJP will get at least four seats in Delhi and the Congress two with the AAP at zero. In any case, the Congress is most likely to win from the New Delhi seat,” said a police officer.