Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 11:
With less than a week left for the counting of votes for the 2014 twin elections, the satta bazaar in Odisha has reached fever pitch with heavy bets being placed on candidates.
According to sources in the state intelligence, punters have put bets to the tune of more than Rs 100 crore on the election results. Bets ranging between Rs one lakh to Rs 10 crore have been placed by punters on the win and defeat of candidates. As the results keep trickling in on counting day, money in crores will change hands, the sources added.
The department is on the look out for a solid clue to nab the operators, said sources.
Bijoy Mohapatra, the BJP’s Mahakalpada candidate and seen by many as the one man chief minister Naveen Patnaik would not like to enter the Odisha Assembly, is the top favourite of the punters with the highest amount of bet put on his head. Irrespective of whether Mohapatra wins or his bete noire Atanu Sabyasachi, Rs 10 crore will change hands in the satta market on D Day, said sources
Brahmagiri constituency in Puri district, where senior Congress leader Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mahapatra is believed to be giving a tough fight to BJD’s sitting MLA Sanjay Dasburma, is another high stakes constituency with bets amounting to Rs 8 crores being placed by the satta operators. Brahmagiri incidentally is considered the constituency with the highest budget spend this election. .
According to these sources, bets of up to Rs one crore have been put on the wining chances of Congress heavyweight Narasingh Mishra, who is contesting against AU Singhdeo in Bolangir and Prasad Harichandan in Satyabadi.
Punters have also risked bets between Rs one crore to Rs two crore on Pritiranjan Ghadei contesting against Sarat Rout of Congress in Sukinda assembly constituency, BJP’s Jayanarayan Mishra in Sambalpur, Congress candidate from Jharsuguda Naba Das, Finance minister and BJD candidate from Bijepur Prasanna Acharya, BJP candidate from Rourkela Dillip Ray, Jagatsinghpur Congress candidate Chiranjeev Biswal and Health minister Damodar Rout contesting from Paradip.
Sources said punters have put forward bets of Rs 3 crore on Congress candidate from Kalahandi Lok Sabha seat Bhakta Das, BJD candidate from Bolangir Lok Sabha seat Kalikesh Singhdeo and BJP’s Rudra Narayan Pani contesting from Dhenkanal Lok Sabha seat.
Interestingly, none of the satta players have come up with bets on chief minister Naveen Patnaik in Hinjli. Similarly, no one has put any bets on Union minister Srikant Jena, Agriculture minister Debi Mishra and Energy minister Arun Sahoo.