Sources in the satta market say the BJP’s prospects have improved after India carried out an air strike last month on a training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed inside Pakistan in retaliation for the Pulwama attack. Prior to the strike, bookies were expecting 200-230 seats for the BJP in the coming polls, for which they were offering 1:1 odds (Rs 1 win for every rupee bet). But now they are anticipating 245-251 seats for the party and over 300 for the NDA, more than enough to form the next government.
The odds of the Congress winning 200 or more seats were 7:1 (Rs 7 win for every rupee bet) before the Pulwama attack. The odds on the same are now 10:1. Election betting in the satta market, which was thin until the elections dates were announced, has begun to gather pace. The lok sabha election will be held between April 11 and May 19 in seven phases. May 23, the day of counting and announcement of results, will also be the expiry date for trades in the betting market.
The air strike has revived confidence in the government over its handling of terrorism. Speculation in election-related trades is a grey market, similar to the betting that takes place in cricket or dabba trading in equities and commodities.
While it is still early for data from this underground market to emerge, punters expect bets being placed on granular details such as on states and constituencies. Finer quotes will be available once candidates’ lists are announced and leading political parties come out with their manifestoes. Rates will also change as more players place bets and volumes increase.