Rajasthan: Satta market says people want the Congress to come back

According to trends, the punters have given the Congress 137 to 140 seats in a House of 200 and a mere 53 to 55 seats to the BJP that won 160 seats in 2013 against Congress 21

PTI photo
PTI photo

Prakash Bhandari

Rajasthan is a major centre for satta (speculation) and it’s a leading state which controls the country’s unauthorised satta market. Be it sports or elections, the punters in the state put a large amount of money in the speculation business. The punters in Rajasthan are backing Congress if the market reports are to be believed. Barring a few occasions, the punters or the Satoriyas who put their money after ground level surveys have been proved right. In Rajasthan, besides Jaipur, Shekhawati region's Sikar, Jhunjhunu, Chirawa, Fatehpur, Nawalgarh, Pilani  Jodhpur, Bikaner and Phalodi in Jodhpur districts are major centres where the punters stake their money on the electoral results. In these centres currently, the speculators are assured of Congress winning the Vidhan Sabha elections.

What are the methodologies, the punters apply before putting their money? The speculators have a very large network and these networks are people or electorate oriented. The punters started reading the mind of the people following the Gaurav Yatra of the Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and how the people were responding to it.

“The Gaurav Yatra was an indicator as we found that the people who voted the BJP to power in 2013 gave a lukewarm response to the Gaurav Yatra and the negativity against the government and the apathy of the BJP cadre was visible during the roadshows. Then we waited for a few days to know about the people's reaction and we found that though the electorate was not much against Prime Minister Modi and the performance of the BJP government at centre, they were very unhappy with the governance under Vasundhara Raje and felt the BJP government did little to fulfil the promises made to the people. Rampant corruptions in the governance, poor implementations of the social welfare schemes, poor employment and the reduction in the workdays in MNREGA led to disillusionment against the government. The party even after knowing these lapses did nothing to salvage the situation and rather allowed it to mount up. These were enough indicators for the speculators to build their opinion and we found that the BJP was on a sticky wicket.” said Bhag Chand Jain (name changed), a speculator of  Jaipur’s Johari Bazar.

Johari Bazar in Jaipur is the trendsetter and other markets follow the trend particularly Phalodi. The small town of Phalodi is the nerve centre of speculation activities and the trend that stars from Jaipur if endorsed in Phalodi lead other centres to follow the trend.

In Rajasthan, the satta for the Vidhan Sabha election is worth over ₹500 crore. Earlier, the sattas were based on pledges and promises and there were no records available and the losers were morally bound to pay if they lose. But now all stakes are on record and its recorded on computers and online betting is adopted and no one can back out after doing a deal. The satta operators because of the Internet operate from remote places and the police have no clues. They record the bettings on one computer and store the contents in some other computers. The police thrive on the speculation business and the police sleuths even after knowing the area of operations help the speculators do their business and the police’s palms are heavily greased.

“This time the trend is little different. Usually, the transaction on various pre-poll bettings begins even before the candidates are nominated by the leading parties, but only in a small way. But this time even before the parties declared their candidates” name, the speculators began actively. The punters could feel the anti-incumbency factors and the trend against the leadership of Vasundhara Raje. The first such negativity against the ruling party was witnessed during the by-elections for the two Lok Sabha and one Vidhan Sabha seat. In these three elections, the punters predicted victories for the Congress in all the three elections and it happened. The results against the BJP proved the punters right,” said Bhij Raj Joshi (name changed), a leading punter of Phalodi.

In Rajasthan, the satta for the Vidhan Sabha election is worth over ₹500 crores and the punters operate on hi-tech with the involvement of modern gadgets and even the support of the IT and software are used

The punters also follow the pre-poll surveys, but the pre-poll surveys are only primary indicators and they put the survey results in their own matrix system to ascertain the trends.

According to trends now the punters give the Congress 137 to 140 seats in a House of 200 and a mere 53 to 55 seats to the BJP that won 160 seats in 2013 against Congress 21.

On the numbers, the various centres differ marginally. While Phalodi gives 137 to 140 seats to the Congress, Jaipur also follows this trend. The punters are putting Paise 25 to 30 on Congress meaning for every Rupee in case of a loss, the loser would pay the winner ₹1.25 or ₹1.40. The lesser the stake the more are the chances of the party to win. The going price for a BJP government in the state is as high as Rs three which means that the market shows fewer chances of a BJP government. If the BJP  somehow manage to form a government those who put their money for the BJP would lose about ₹300 crores.

The state money eventually makes the trend and as the money involved are high, the speculators put their money after studying the situation in each constituency.

“ In Bikaner, nobody is willing to put money for the BJP and for 100 seats the rate is as high as ₹10 which means the loser will have to pay ₹10 for ₹1 at stake. These show the BJP in poor light and the market trends suggest in Bikaner that winning 100 seats for the BJP will be a distant dream.

The rate for the Congress winning 100 seats is 10 paise and for 120 seats it's 25 paise. All these shows that nobody is willing to back the BJP as it's not going to perform well.” Said Karni Das Mundhra ( name changed) of the Kotgate area of Bikaner.

The recent trends show that the speculators, by and large, were correct in assessing the situation, but were not accurate with the numbers. However, they were successful in predicting the actual winners-numbers differing.

The trends are likely to remain same even after the declarations of the lists of the candidates by both the parties.

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