Thursday, 5 May 2011

Kadapa by-poll: Betting high on Jaganmohan Reddy's victory margin

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, May 5: It’s betting time in Kadapa. At least Rs 100 crore is at stake over the 
“victory margin” of YSR Congress nominee YS Jaganmohan Reddy.

Political activists from East and West Godavari, Hyderabad, Krishna and Guntur districts 
are involved in the betting activity. While some have bet luxury cars valued up to Rs 25 
lakh, others have offered utility items like costly cell phones, fridges and air 
conditioners. Hotels, lodges and guesthouses, where political leaders and workers from 
these districts are put up, have become impromptu betting dens.

“The question whether Jaganmohan Reddy will win or lose the polls is now outdated. With 
just a day left for the campaigning to close, it’s quite clear that Jagan will win the 
Kadapa bypoll. So, betting is now on the victory margin, and by how much majority he will 
win the election,” said a political activist from Guntur district, staying at a 
guesthouse run by a government-owned corporation.

The victory margin for Jagan is being projected between 50,000 and 3,00,000 and as the 
victory margin goes up, so also the value of the article or money being offered as bet. A 
political leader, loyal to Jagan from Hyderabad, has bet Innova car, projecting the 
victory margin for Jagan as 1,00,000.

Besides the victory margin of Jagan, whether Congress would stand second or third is also 
the focal point in the impromptu betting world. While a majority of activists have bet 
that the Congress would stand third in the race, a few are hopeful that the ruling party 
will come closer to defeating Jagan. Quite a few have also bet on the electoral prospects 
of Telugu Desam in Kadapa Lok Sabha elections.

At road side pan shops friends are involved in betting small items like cell phones, FM 
radios, watches and money ranging between Rs 500 and Rs 5,000. In one guesthouse alone, 
as many as a dozen Innova cars are offered as bet over Jagan’s victory margin.

Even in dusty villages abutting the Nallamala and Seshachalam hills, betting is said to 
be going on quite high, though the money at stake is quite negligible there. Reports of 
betting on Jagan’s victory margin have come in from places like Jammalamadugu, 
Brahmamgari Matham, Badvel, Maidukuru, Kadapa, Pulivendula and Proddatur.

The outcome of Pulivendula Assembly constituency is also being debated by the betting 
circles, with the odds loaded in favour of YSR Congress nominee Vijayalakshmi. There are 
no supporters for the Telugu Desam nominee in Pulivendula.

The police, who are concentrating heavily on money being distributed among voters, have 
strangely turned a blind eye to the betting racket flourishing alike in private hotels 
and official guesthouses.

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