Rajasthan's bookies give BJP an edge | india | Hindustan Times
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Rajasthan's bookies give BJP an edge

Rajasthan's bookies predict a hung Assembly but give BJP an edge over Cong with the former crossing 90-seat mark. Others may get 30 seats, they say.

india Updated: Oct 13, 2003 15:16 IST

The bookies of Rajasthan are predicting what many already suspect. This year's Vidhan Sabha elections would result in a hung Assembly.

But unlike many experts who believe the Congress would emerge as the single largest party, the bookies are betting on the BJP inching ahead after a close race. According to them, the BJP would easily cross the 90-seat mark.

The bets on offer are indicative of the pro-BJP slant. The bookies are offering Rs 75 to anybody who bets Rs 100 on the BJP touching 90. The offer to a punter on the Congress is Rs 115.

Since the satta market works on the principle of more returns on greater risks, the higher odds on the Congress indicates at its inferior position vis a vis the BJP. Though pre-poll surveys are the favourite fad of politicians, many believe that bookies, with their network spread right up to the remote villages, have a good feel of the political pulse of the State.

The Congress has gained in the past some time, the bookies believe. When the bookies had opened their counters across Rajasthan a few days ago, they had set higher odds against the Congress.

The bookies feel none of these parties would find it easy to cross the majority mark. But the odds are lower for the BJP. The operators feel that the odds against the BJP forming the next government on its own are 1.75:1.00. The corresponding figure for the Congress is 2.50:1.00.

The market sees the independents and the 'third forces' in the State as the spoilsport for the two parties.

According to them independents, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) would together pocket nearly 30 seats.

The biggest chunk of this pie would be gobbled by the independents. Om Prakash Chautala's INLD is likely to win five seats. Mayawati's party would be close behind with four, according to the satta market.

There is very little hope for Devi Singh Bhati's Social Justice Front. The bookies feel Bhati would be lucky to hold on to his seat in Kolayat.