Jaipur/Mumbai: Going by the predictions of the satta markets in Churu (Rajasthan) and Mumbai, the BJP is well within striking distance of forming the government in Uttar Pradesh, while Punjab is set for a cliffhanger with the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party predicted to be tied with the same number of seats.
Taking into account the bets placed in the satta markets, BJP pipped the SP-Congress alliance in UP after the first phase of polling. The alliance, however, appeared to be convincingly ahead on the day of the first phase.
The underground betting market in Churu has predicted that BJP will win 190-193 seats in UP with SP-Congress finishing second with 125-128 and BSP a poor third with 6567. The Mumbai betting market has given 198-201 seats to BJP, 119-122 to SP-Congress and 62-64 to BSP. According to both Churu and Mumbai betting markets, in Punjab, AAP and Congress are likely to finish with 53-55 seats each while a virtual wipe-out for BJP-SAD may yield just 6-7 seats for the ruling combine.
The fortunes appear to have swung in BJP’s favour between the first and the fifth phases. In the Churu market, while the BJP, with 140-150 seats, was behind SP-Congress (170-178) on the day of first phase (February 11), its seats dramatically increased after the fifth phase on February 27.
On March 2, just two days ahead of sixth phase of polling, the score in the betting market was: BJP 190-193 seats, SP-Congress 125-128 and and BSP 65-67.
“The municipal elections in Maharashtra cleared the uncertainty . It showed that despite demonetisation, people are voting for the BJP, which is expected to maintain this trend in UP,” said a Churu-based bookie.
BJP won 8 of the 10 municipalities in Maharashtra, the results for which were declared on February 23.
A Mumbai bookie also said that the BJP made steady gains after the first phase of polling, when the after effects of demonetisation started fading.
A Mumbai bettor said that initially the BJP was expected to win 98-101 seats against SP-Congress’s 217220. “But things have changed after Modi took charge of things,” he said, adding that the road shows by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi seem to have changed the equation.