Whom do you go to when you want to know if it will rain tomorrow? A classic Laxman cartoon had the common man consulting a roadside astrologer outside the weather bureau! When it comes to predictions, the weather and the elections are not poles apart. Yes, that’s right – the bookies are betting and all see Congress coming back to power and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh resuming office for the next term as well. Around the world, experts and laymen keep their eyes peeled for what the bookies are up to in the run-up to polls-for the betting industry is known to put its money where the votes are. As the great Indian vote begins, bookies are taking bets on the four main national parties-the Congress, BJP, SP and BSP. On the eve of phase I of the LS elections, the Congress-led UPA is a clear frontrunner. While the Mumbai operators are quoting odds of 1:1 (you win Re 1 on every rupee you bet) for the Congress getting 142 seats, their Delhi counterparts are offering a net gain of 80 paise on every rupee for the grand old party winning at least 150 seats. For the BJP, the going is not as good, with Mumbai citing 1:1 for the saffron party getting 128 seats while the Delhi bookies fancy it even less, offering nourishing odds of 70 paise win for every rupee bet for even 120 seats. In Delhi, the Congress is backed heavily to sweep the polls. While the sums involved are huge, it’s obviously impossible even to get a ballpark figure given the secretive nature of the illegal trade. Sources from the industry say that the Congress and the UPA are emerging favourites among betters. These numbers might improve after the first phase and we expect that the BJP-led NDA might improve its rates. And all the bets are in favour of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh who appears to be the overwhelming choice for the PM chair. With bureau inputs, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.
February 12, 2008
December 20, 2014