The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is still in all agog over finalizing the Gujarat chief, but the underground Satta Bazaar (betting market) is betting it all on the incumbent CM Vijay Rupani and Nitin Patel. Taking into consideration the stakes-placed in the Satta market, BJP president Amit Shah is also in the contesting for the top post other than Vijay Rupan and Nitin Patel.
Bookies are also gambling on a new face that might replace Rupani as Gujarat CM. The betting rate of Rupani is fixed as Rs 1.60, Nitin Patel is receiving bets at Rs 1.60 and Amit Shah Rs 3. The biggest gamble is of Rs 5 on a new face. As per the drift of the betting market, the person getting the lowest bid, Vijay Rupani in this case, has the most prominent probability of winning.
According to sources, the betting market faced huge losses during session betting on Monday, December 18 when the results for Gujarat Assembly elections were announced. With the Congress performing better than expected, punters made some big money during the initial phase of counting. As the results started to come to the surface, the picture got more evidence that the BJP was going to form the government for a record sixth time, the profits earned by the bookies evaporated.
During election campaigning, party chief Amit Shah had repeatedly said that Vijay Rupani was the BJP’s face for the polls in the state. With a handsome vote count margin of 25000 Rupani secured a comprehensive win for himself from Rajkot West seat, but if party insiders are to be believed, there are entirely a few names which are considered to be frontrunners to replace him on the top post. After Anandiben Patel stepped down as Gujarat CM in August, Rupani is the most likely candidate to replace him, who was an excellent pick might have to face the brunt of the BJP’s performance in Gujarat where it won far less number of seats the party was aiming for. The BJP won 99 seats. On the other hand, the Congress improved its 2012 figure drastically by winning 80 seats; others won three seats in the 182-seat Gujarat Assembly.
Though Rupani is said to be beginning the race for the next Gujarat CM, names of veteran leader RC Faldu, Union Ministers Smriti Irani, Manusukh Mandviya and party chief Amit Shah is also doing the rounds.
Considered to PM Narendra Modi’s ‘blue-eyed boy’Union minister of state for road transport & highways and shipping Mansukh L Mandaviya has emerged as the second most favored candidate in the CM race. The BJP may favor Mandaviya, a Patidar leader, as a move to appease the community which is demanding reservation in jobs and education.