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Assembly elections: Satta Bazaar bets on Fadnavis for CM and Sena-BJP in power

Indian politics is often described as being feisty, vibrant, colourful, controversial, debatable, provocative, all of that and more. It all depends on which side of the spectrum you stand and there is a perspective, always. People are aware, concerned and involved, good or bad, it shows the vibrancy of politics in India. With the time, every common man is taking huge interest in politics of nation and some say Indian politics is much more entertaining than the cricket match. Perhaps, here comes the ‘Satta Bazaar‘ that seems to have received a big boost from the roadshow of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to social media campaigns. Opposition leaders say that ‘Satta Bazaar’ trends are manipulated by BJP supporters and are therefore not reliable. These days they don’t even trust EVM, they believe that the votes are too manipulated. Still, Assembly Elections 2019: Maharashtra’s ‘Satta Bazaar’ sizzles in electoral heat.  The informal, black money-backed betting rackets have been fairly active but the clandestine nature of operations prevents verification of claims.

The financial capital of India’s ‘Satta Bazaar’, scandalous for swaying political trends with huge stakes, is sizzling in the political heat generated by the flabbergasted Assembly elections results. Insiders say the stakes are high and multi-targeted, from victories to defeats and margins. “So far, the wind is blowing and National Democratic Alliance‘s (NDA) forming the government. The Congress this time did fairly well in Maharashtra. NCP just bounced back, and both the parties proved that there are still voters for them. So the dream of Congress or NCP Mukt Bharat or Maharashtra is not possible ever. The Sena-BJP alliance has good support among betting circles. Punters were little cautious, when BJP could not get expected majority and Sena leaders were passing random comments over their demands. In 2014, BJP was assured of overwhelming mass support. But after five years in 2019, the voters escalated. BJP is a single largest party but they cannot form government on their own.

Betting circuits were cold till after the conclusion of assembly elections but have picked up after the tussles between Sena-BJP. Restive allies and rebellion in the ranks became trouble for the BJP. There were too many leaders from other parties joined BJP and the party could not accommodate its own leaders in the greed of appeasing outsiders flown in the party. The most anticipated elections results, if one goes by the odds placed on various parties and candidates in the illegal betting market. Devendra, punters believe, will be crowned the Chief minister for the second term. The price climbs to Rs 1.80 for Sena-BJP alliance. Some betting operators believe that the party is capable of reaching 150 seats on its own but that did not happen. A punter can bet any amount on a range of scenarios, for instance, on the BJP winning 150 seats. If this comes true, the bettor gets 22 paise on every rupee bet. If the bet was Rs 1 lakh, the punter gets back Rs 1.22 lakh. There’s an inverse relationship between odds and the chances of winning the latter declines as the former rises. Bookies said the level of interest is very high and they expect total turnover to cross Rs 10000 crore by the time elections are concluded, compared with Rs 5000 crore in the last election in 2014. Every opinion poll has suggested since 2003 that Congress will not win but still they returned. The BJP also seemed unwilling to take the betting market too seriously but most of the voters in the state want Devendra as CM and assessments are based on this public perception. In 2014 and 2019 assembly elections, bookies made a lot of money as nobody expected BJP and Sena will lock horns over their pre-promised demands.

People are glued to all news channels looking at the Sena-BJP leaders and their interviews. Who will be sworn in is bit confusing because Sena also declared that their leaders would be swearing in as CM, and on the other hand Devendra claimed that he would be swearing in on 8th of November. Whereas people on social network have their own opinion, anyways these are just speculations as the respective party leaders will decide the fate of political parties in respective positions.

Meanwhile, there are two interesting factors to be kept in mind while watching news channels. One, the money that is sponsored and paid for showing favour to one party, and other one is Satta Bazaar that is influencing people to bet more on certain party in association with TV channel telecast on speculation. The moment Television channels began broadcasting exit polls for Maharashtra, the Satta Bazaar shot up. The picture of BJP was very glossy. Maharashtra has definitively picked the BJP, according to most polls; the party appears to have retained here.

Apart from Satta Bazaar, there are many private bookies and gambling dens, who are sponsors to various news sources. The predictions are made for gaining business in terms of revenue and TRP, if you see in the past two years, the BJP has not been faring too well in the state elections, with the party facing debacles in key power centers like Bihar and Delhi. Then too bookies played it well, and now they are suggesting what they have to. Meanwhile, BJP is very much confident in forming its government. Let’s see, what happens ahead.

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 14 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazine Beyond The News (international). She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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