UP leaders seek divine help to triumph in polls (Election Special)

Lucknow, April 8: If you thought it's just the doors of voters that politicians are knocking at, then think again. Uttar Pradesh's candidates are making all efforts to please the gods for a win at the hustings. With 80 seats - the largest from any state - at stake, politicians and their supporters are propitiating gods in various ways to ensure their victory .

Not surprisingly, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, is attending maha yagnas and is the 'jajmaan' (client) at various religious ceremonies. Last week he attended one such congregation of hymn chanting Brahmins at the Dilkusha colony residence of state minister Manoj Pandey.

SP chief's family sources told IANS that similar prayers are also on in many religious 'peeths' elsehwere in the state.

Astrologer Usha Parikh, who advises the former UP chief minister's family on various issues, is learnt to have "instructed for some special puja's" and "ordered gems" to change the fortunes of the party, said to be facing strong anti-incumbency.

Mulayam Singh's nephew Dharmedra Yadav, a candidate from Badaun, is also learnt to be holding a tantrik puja for the success of the clan.

BJP President Rajnath Singh is a firm believer in astrology and rituals.

BJP president and former UP chief minister Rajnath Singh, a firm believer in astrology and rituals, is not to be left behind.

Priests are holding 'vijay yagyas (victory rituals) for Singh, an ardent follower of Maa Vindhyavasini situated in Jaunpur, neighbouring Varanasi, who is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Lucknow, a seat thrice represented by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The BJP president this time has also chosen to visit some famous Lucknow dargahs. Recently he visited the Dargah of Hazrat Qasim Shaheed (Rahmatullah-alaih). After paying homage and floral tributes, the 'Sajjadanashin' of the Dargah prayed for the success of Rajnath Singh, said Asif Zaman Rizvi, a minority wing leader of the BJP who accompanied him.

Special prayers are also being held for BJP's Kalraj Mishra who is contesting from Deoria.

A close aide told IANS that "the leader was always a firm believer in god and hence taking recourse to them was routine".

Congress leaders are also holding special prayers like 'das mahavidya anushthaan' and 'satchandi path' for the success of the party in the LS polls.

Mukhtar Ansari, the candidate from the Quami Ekta Dal against BJP's Narendra Modi in Varanasi, is also learnt to have offered a 'sacrificial goat' to a temple, seeking blessings for his electoral fortunes.

Similar prayers and rituals are taking place in Allahabad and neighbouring Datia (Madhya Pradesh) for leaders from all parties.

A special prayer is being done for embattled RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav at Jaunpur in the Paagal Baba's ashram.

BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's brother Pankaj Modi is spearheading the effort to please god for him. He has been to Allahabad and Haridwar in Uttarakhand recently and camped in Varanasi, a seat Modi is contesting other than Vadodra in Gujarat.

A 'dus mahavidya' puja is being held for the BJP leader in Varanasi by seers from the Valsad Ashram in Gujarat and led by Acharya Mahamandaleshwar Vidyanand and Mahamandaleshwar Samvidanad of the Kailash Mutt.

Prayers for the success of the BJP leader are also being held at the famous seat of Lord Hanuman - the Sankatmochan temple in Varanasi.

A functionary of the temple told IANS that 100,000 'jaaps' (chants) of the 'Bajrang Baan' and 'Hanuman Kavach' are being done for Modi's success.

Narendra Modi, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal themselves have personally prayed at the Kashi Vishwanath temple, seeking the blessings of Lord Shiva.

Rudrabhishek was done by the political trio here, Acharya Subodh Shastri of the temple told IANS.


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