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Pizza yummier than roti; papad crumbles

india Updated: May 18, 2009 17:38 IST

In the lull between polling and counting, punters rushed to place bets worth Rs 20,000 crore on what was better - 'pizza' or 'roti'.

There was also 'papad' on offer, but it had few takers.

Pizza, roti and papad were among the code words bookies used while taking bets so as to avoid the police net.

Pizza, code word for Congress, was the hot favourite among punters, while roti (BJP) saw lesser volumes, a bookie said in Mumbai. BJP's PM hopeful L K Advani was code-named papad.

The betting volume topped Rs 20,000 crore, up from Rs 11,000 crore in the 2004 polls.
Bookmakers earned a profit of Rs 5,000 crore, but could have made more had there been no ban on exit polls by newspapers/news channels in between the five phase polls, said a bookie, known as 'RT' in the betting circles.

There were other code names as well. 'Fish curry' for Pranab Mukherjee, 'gutka' for Sharad Pawar, 'zaban mein haddi nahin' for Lalu Prasad, 'ghar toru' for Amar Singh, 'pinjre mein sher' for Rahul Gandhi, 'gaswala' for Ram Naik and 'munnabhai ki bahen' for Priya Dutt, among others.

As counting began on Saturday morning, Manmohan Singh and Congress emerged as hot favourites.