Mysuru/ Nanjangud – Who will win Nanjangud and Gundlupet by-elections? How much will you bet on him/ her? What will be the victory margin?
With just a day left for counting of votes, these are the most asked questions by people who have pooled in money to indulge in betting and also who are inducing voters to shower money on their choice of candidate.
Yes. As election fever had gripped Nanjangud and Gundlupet, now it is the time to bet. While the Election Commission and District Administration is geared up for the counting to be held tomorrow, villagers of both the Assembly segments have been indulging in widespread betting to predict the winners.
The villages that witnessed hectic political activities soon after the election dates were announced have still not come out of the poll mode and are waiting with bated breath as both BJP and Congress are playing for their pride. While both Nanjangud and Gundlupet are likely to have a close call, a majority are hesitant to bet on leads as it is difficult for them to predict.
In fact, betting is not restricted to only the constituencies but has also extended across the district and major players are villagers and booth-level party workers. Villagers have even pledged domestic animals, gold ornaments and vehicles. The stake amount ranges between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 1 lakh and according to Police sources, it has become difficult for them to crack gambling cases.
According to people who bet, the fortunes of BJP have witnessed a steady rise since the election announcement. Initially, the stakes on both the BJP and Congress were 1:1. As the counting date neared, BJP emerged as a hot favourite, especially in Nanjangud. Gamblers said that Congress’ prospects looked brighter in Gundlupet.
Meanwhile, both Congress and BJP leaders are busy mobilising details to predict results and victory margins. They are working out caste combination, polling in particular castes and mood among the voters to bet for their favourite candidate.
Congress leaders feel the election would swing in their favour as Dalit and Nayaka votes were considerably divided in the last few days. While BJP leaders are confident that they have got 60-70 per cent of Dalits and 55 per cent of Nayaka votes, Congress is sure of retaining its traditional vote banks — Dalits, Muslims, Other Backward Castes.
In Gundlupet, Congressmen are hoping for victory as a majority have voted for CM Siddharamaiah’s leadership and development works done by late H.S. Mahadevaprasad. The BJP leaders are confident that sympathy has worked in favour of Niranjan Kumar and voters are upset with the Congress.