Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) would have an edge over Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance in the coming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) election. This is the prediction by the Mumbai bookies who believe that no alliance is going to get clear majority.
The bookies on Saturday opened rates on BMC election and if they are to be believed, the third front or Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) would play a key role in helping an alliance reach the magical figure. There are a total number of 227 seats and for majority an alliance has to reach 114 seats.
Sources in the betting circle said that the odds are more in favour of Congress-NCP than Sena-BJP. The odds on Congress-NCP alliance ruling BMC is 74 paise for every rupee on bet whereas the same for Sena-BJP is Rs 1.22.
Bookies believe that Congress-NCP would, however, fall short of the magical figure and would have to take help from the third front comprising the Samajwadi Party, all factions of Republican Party of India (RPI), Communist Party of India (M) among others.
"The Congress-NCP alliance would get somewhere between 91 to 101 seats," said a Borivali-based bookie who played a crucial role in opening rates alongwith his counterparts from other states, who specially came here for the purpose.
He said that in the alliance the Congress is likely to get 73 to 78 seats while NCP would get 18 to 23 seats. The bookies predict that the third front would get 12 to 17 seats.
The Sena-BJP alliance, he said, is likely to get 74 to 84 seats. "Individually, Sena would get 49 to 54 seats while BJP would get 25 to 30," the bookie said.
He added that the Sena-BJP alliance would have no choice but to take help of the MNS, but that would also not serve their purpose. "That is because the MNS would get eight to 12 seats," he said.
Bookies said that Raj Thackeray's split from Sena would go against the alliance. "This, alongwith the failure of administration during the July 26 flood, would make things difficult for the Sena-BJP alliance, which is currently ruling the BMC," the bookie said.
Since the rates were opened on Saturday, the election has till date witnessed betting to the tune of Rs 450 crore to Rs 500 crore.