Betting market predicts BJP lead in Rajasthan

PTI | ByAnil Sharma (IANS), Jaipur
May 03, 2004 03:38 PM IST

The odds favour the BJP in Rajasthan with the state's thriving betting market saying it might bag 17-20 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats.

The odds favour the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Rajasthan with the state's thriving betting market saying it might bag 17-20 of the 25 Parliamentary seats.

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The market says that the Congress might get only between 5-8 seats in the elections on May 5.

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Rajasthan has one of the largest betting markets in the country with millions of rupees at stake on subjects varying from election and cricket results to when it will rain.

"The betting market in this pink city does not favour Congress," said a punter, adding that the cash-on-camera scandal, which showed three former Congress ministers accepting bribes, had taken its toll on the party's poll prospects.

The market has set a high price for the Congress getting as many seats as it got in the 1999 Lok Sabha, lower house of Parliament, elections. The Congress won nine seats in 1999 with the BJP garnering 16.

According to betting rules, the higher the price, the more dismal the chances of winning and vice versa. For the BJP, the odds for ruling are 1:1.21, for winning 15 seats are 1:1.33, for getting 16 seats 1:1.60 and for grabbing 20 seats 1:2.70.

The market does not have faith in the winning ability of several Congress candidates including Girija Vyas from Udaipur, Rameshwar Lal Dudi from Bikaner, Buta Singh from Jalore, Ramraghunath Chaudhary from Nagaur and Colonel Sona Ram from Barmer.

However, there is considerable faith in the Congress' Sis Ram Ola in Jhunjhunu, Sachin Pilot in Dausa, Narain Singh in Sikar and Balram Jakhar in Churu.

The BJP is considered strong in Ajmer, Pali, Nagaur, Jodhpur, Barmer, Sriganganagar, Jalore, Bikaner, Udaipur, Kota, Jhalawar, Jaipur and Tonk.

In the national scenario, the odds for the BJP getting 170 seats are presently 1:1.23, for getting 200 seats 1:2.25 and for getting 225 seats it is 1:70.

For the Congress, it is 1:1.18 for getting 90 seats, 1:1.60 for getting 100 seats, 1:4 for 125 seats and 1:6 for 150 seats.

Of course, in the transient world of politics, the odds change every day. "Today it is the BJP. Who knows it can be the Congress on polling day," said a speculator.

Like during the December assembly elections, when the market initially favoured the Congress to win.

But things changed on the last day of polling and the BJP came into favour and governance.

It could happen even now.

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