The ongoing Gujjar movement in Rajasthan has come as a business opportunity to those in the betting trade. They are running wagers on when and how the matter will be resolved. And making big bucks in the process.
Jodhpur, Phalodi and a few other cities in the region are said to be a gambling haven. People here bet on anything from cricket to elections and even the monsoon. With no cricket matches on and the monsoon having lost its novelty, they now have a new subject.
“The Gujjar movement is the current issue. What is wrong if someone speculates on the issue,” asked a betting man in the Juni Mandi area of the walled city. According to him, the main money is on the future of Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje.
In Phalodi, the opening bet on whether Raje will be removed or forced to resigh are Rs 5 to Rs 7. This means that if a person places Rs 100 on this bet, he could receive Rs 500 to Rs 700 if Raje resigns as chief minister.
Another trend at the satta bazar is whether Gujjars will withdraw the agitation in next 48 hours, on a firm assurance by the government.
Betting is not a mindless game for the regulars. They analyze the issues deeply, constantly watch television, read newspapers and discuss the matter before deciding on which side to bet on.
According to a rough estimates, Jodhpur city alone has more than a thousand such speculators and roughly the same number exists in Phalodi.