Narendra Modi's victory in the Gujarat elections is something that has been widely predicted by pollsters, his supporters and grudgingly acknowledged by his opponents. Bookies, however, put their money where their mouth is and while confident of the BJP's return to power in the state, they aren't very sure if Modi will go much past his previous tally of 117 seats in the 2007 elections.
"It seems that the BJP is winning because most of the votes are presently being placed on the BJP," an unidentified bookie told CNN-IBN.
According to the channel's report, if you bet on the BJP getting 90 seats you'd get a profit of Rs 0.4 for every rupee bet.
However, if you're willing to bet on the BJP getting over 120 seats the bookies are willing to give you Rs 2.5 for every rupee bet.
The odds being offered by the bookies shows that while they expect the BJP to hold on to power they aren't very certain of the thumping majority that Modi has promised throughout his election campaign.
However, the bookies have also been thrown off by the high voter turnout which had led to Modi and senior BJP leaders in the state meeting to discuss its impact.
The odds being offered on the BJP getting to over 120 seats have been raised after the high turnout with bookies, like pollsters, believing that the high voter turnout could fuel the anti-incumbency factor, the Economic Times reported.
While this means that Modi is very likely to be the next chief minister, will the lower margin of victory in the elections hurt his national ambitions? While we have said earlier that it is just a matter of time that Modi makes his entry into national politics, a lower victory margin could delay it a bit more as he may have to stabilise his hold and succession plan in Gujarat before he takes the leap into national politics.
And the possibility of a worse than expected result in something that the BJP has already begun working on in Gujarat if reports are to be believed.After the high turnout Modi had met with senior state BJP leaders in order to discuss the high voter turnout and the possible impact it would have on the results.
Acccording to an Indian Express report, the party has begun to reach out to candidates from smaller parties like the NCP, GPP and in some cases independents to ensure the final tally is one that brings them back to power.
Quoting unnamed sources, the report said that the BJP has been reaching out to leaders like 'Godmother' Santokben Jadeja's son Kandhal Jadeja in Porbandar.
While it is unlikely the BJP will be able to poach anyone from the Congress or Keshubhai Patel's Gujarat Parivartan Party, the party is likely to go all out to ensure the final tally is not only sufficient but impressive.