Even as political parties draw up their strategies to ensure a victory in the upcoming civic polls, bookies in the city have laid their bets on no alliance winning a clear majority.
Bookies further believe that the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) will play a crucial role in determining the alliance that will come to power in the civic body, and that the pre-poll alliance between the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party will dent the Shiv Sena-BJP combine.
As the poll date nears, bets are pouring in from across the country and bookies expect a business of Rs5,000 crore for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls.
According to the rates opened by the bookies, the Congress-NCP alliance could fare marginally better than the incumbent Sena-BJP combine. Bets have been laid on the Congress-NCP winning 95-105 seats, while the saffron alliance is expected to get 90-100 seats.
Of this, they believe that 70-75 seats will go to the Sena, while BJP will win 20-25. The Congress, they expect, will get 75-80 seats, with the NCP getting 20-25. Of the 227 seats in the civic body, a party or an alliance needs to win at least 114 seats, for a majority.
The MNS, which had won 7 seats in the last civic polls, is expected to perform well this time, and bookies expect it to win around 15 seats.
The odds on the Sena winning 70 seats is a Rs1.1 per rupee bet, while for 75 seats, it is Rs2.8 per rupee. The lower the rate, the higher the probability of the outcome.
For the BJP, the odds of winning 20 seats have attracted a 65 paise per rupee bet, while 25 seats has attracted a return of Rs 1.9 per rupee.
For the Congress too, higher odds have been placed on it winning 75 seats, with a return of Rs1.05 per rupee. For 80 seats, it is Rs 2.25.