In the last elections in 2014, the betting markets – Satta bazaar as they are called – were placing bets on Modi to win. But their maximum bet on BJP’s seat count was around 225.
Top bookmakers across the country announced the bulk of odds late in the evening on March 10 and the trends are unsurprising except for the fact that the punters are a little more confident of the NDA reaching 272 seats. The worst-case scenario for the BJP seems to be 200 seats with odds at a paltry 22 paise. The price climbs to Rs 1.80 for a target of 225 seats. Some betting operators believe that the party is capable of reaching 230-235 seats though surprisingly no odds are being offered for this range. Operators ET spoke to said they expect total turnover to cross Rs 60,000 crore by the time elections are over. (source)
That was the popular wisdom, as it were, for most pundits who would spout that figure as their own ‘considered prediction’.
I remember walking into the local grocery store at that time in US and talking to the owner who is a Gujju bhai and a Modi fan. I told him, BJP on its own will get above 280 and NDA will get above 300. He said sadly “but the highest they are saying is 220”. I told him to wait.
I went to that store a month after the results and he came running to me with a box of mithai and shouted “how the heck did you know?”
Well, everyone was missing the obvious ‘wave’.
Which they are doing again. This time, they are saying this:
Punters feel the NDA is likely to get 185-220 seats and the UPA may be confined to 160 to 180 seats. According to speculators, the NDA is presently attracting a rate of Rs 2, while the Congress is getting a rate of Rs 1.5.
If the bettors are to be believed, the saffron camp may not be able to reap the desired benefits of the ‘surgical strike’ in this election. Before the poll schedule was announced by the Election Commission, speculators had estimated about 250 seats for the BJP.
According to the trend prevailing in betting market, at present, in comparison to the NDA and UPA, the third front or ‘mahagathabandhan’ may grab 225 to 250 seats.
Due to the violence and machinations, maybe the seat count maybe off by some, but I see BJP itself getting between 280 to 300 seats. I don’t see mahagathbandhan being a threat at any level. Congress will improve its tally but everyone else will lose their seat counts from this Parliament.
What do you think?