Phalodi is a small town in Rajasthan that is home to the famous betting market in its vicinity which has come alive against the backdrop of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.
The betting market believes that the BJP is headed for victory in about 250 Lok Sabha seats, according to a bookie from this town who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Speaking to IANS, he said: "The BJP continues to be a favourite of the bookies this election season and will get around 246-250 seats on its own. With around 55 seats from the allies, it is sure to cross 300 seats. In Rajasthan, the BJP will get around 18 seats even though the state government machinery is being run by the Congress."
The all-India figure for the Congress is 76-79 seats, according to the bookmaker.
Phalodi is situated about 160 km from Jodhpur. The betting or satta market gained credence after giving accurate predictions on significant subjects.
Besides Phalodi, the Shekhawati region, comprising Bikaner and Sikar, is also known for giving clear predictions on crucial issues. In fact, Phalodi and Shekhawati belts share common predictions and hence have earned due 'recognition', he said.
Another punter from Phalodi said: "The working of this betting system is quite interesting. It comprises bookies and punters, the former fixes the amount -- for example, the number of seats the BJP will win -- and the punters then put their money on it. There is a strong team across states which collects data to analyse the trends.
"The networking of this market is quite strong. Not all people are allowed to enter this market. The entire network has a very strong intelligence system which can never collapse. They operate via Whatsapp and private websites. No outsider is allowed on these platforms."
Speaking on Rajasthan, which is yet to vote, he said: "The present trends reveal that BJP will get around 18 seats while the Congress shall get the remaining seven."
Jodhpur, Barmer, Dausa, Nagaur, Bharatpur, Dholpur and Sikar can go the Congress way, he said, but added that these predictions are based on speculation and there can be an addition or deletion in the coming days.
"In Rajasthan's Assembly elections, the Phalodi satta market predicted 125+ seats for the Congress. However, the Congress wrapped up at the 100 mark. But our predictions were accurate for Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh," he said.
Sharing details on Jodhpur, the most talked-about seat in Rajasthan, where the BJP has fielded Minister of State Gajendra Singh Shekhawat against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's son Vaibhav Gehlot of the Congress, a bookie said: "Shekhawat is leading the show in Jodhpur. The rate for him is 90 paise while it is Rs 1.10 for Vaibhav Gehlot."
In Nagaur, where the BJP recently formed an alliance with the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP), the bookies have allotted 80 paise for Congress' Jyoti Mirdha and Rs 1.20 for three-time MLA Hanuman Beniwal of the BJP.
In Barmer, the bookies have earmarked 40-45 paise for Congress' Manvendra Singh, son of veteran BJP leader Jaswant Singh, while 55-60 paise has been fixed for Kailash Choudhary of the BJP.
The bookies also predicted that the BJP-Shiv Sena combine will win 31-34 seats in Maharashtra, while in West Bengal, the BJP will win 8-11 seats. In Haryana, the ruling BJP shall notch up 7-9 seats, while the Congress will get 7-9 seats in Punjab.
In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP will win 42-44 seats, followed by Madhya Pradesh (20-22 seats), Gujarat (22-24 seats), Bihar (12-14 seats) and Delhi (5-7 seats), as per the bookies' predictions.
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