New Delhi: Three weeks to go and it's been a long election already, with analysts and opinions and forecasts poured relentlessly into the mix.
For those willing to put their money where their mouth is, the illegal betting racket - or satta bazaar - that thrives across the nation is the real ground report.
And the report suggests that the Congress VP does not stand much of a chance to move into 7 Race Course Road as leading bookies in Rajkot, Indore and Ahmedabad have stopped offering bets on Rahul Gandhi.
Even a month ago, some bookies were offering odds of about Rs 6-7 for Gandhi to be the PM, while the rate for Arvind Kejriwal, the founder of Aam Aadmi Party, was about Rs 500-525.
In contrast to Rahul Gandhi, the rate for Narendra Modi, the BJP candidate for the PM post, is 45 paise, nearly unchanged from what the rate was about a month ago.
This means if one bets Rs 100 on Modi to assume the coveted office in Delhi's South Block, and he actually becomes the PM after May 16, one would get Rs 145.
In the Rajkot-Indore circles, the rates for the NDA coming to power is 44 paise. The rates for the BJP, which led the alliance that ruled the country from 1999-2004, getting 200 Lok Sabha seats is 46 paise and 58 paise for 250 seats. This rate has slightly changed what was offered about 10 days ago, — 50 paise to 75 paise for the BJP getting 250 seats — indicating the party has a lower chance of getting to that level.
Bookies are also betting heavily about the Congress getting less than 100 Lok Sabha seats, with the rates for it getting 85-90 seats at Rs 1.60-1.70, the person related to bookies said.
Rates in these betting hubs of the country nearly match what several opinion polls have been predicting. An opinion poll by Times Now — C Voter put 227 seats for the BJP-led NDA, while for the Congress-led UPA the number was 101 seats. The opinion poll also puts 215 seats for all non-NDA, non-UPA parties combined.