The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Khichri recipe for election win in Bhopal

Bhopal, Nov. 9: Poll is in the air. So can a poll potion be far behind' Not if the politician is from Madhya Pradesh.

The prescription for success ranges from having a daily portion of khichri made of urad dal to feeding milk to a black dog to chanting the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra at midnight to Vastu or even Feng Shui. Edgy leaders from almost all parties in the election-bound state are sparing nothing.

The only prayer on everybody’s lips is: “Get us elected, get us power.” But unlike chief minister Digvijay Singh and his BJP challenger Uma Bharti who have already scoured the country’s north and south for divine blessings, the lesser leaders are rushing to local babas and fakirs.

Digvijay and Uma have already done the rounds of temples in Ujjain and Udupi, in Karnataka.

Now, the chief minister has set others another example by hotfooting it from work at 8 pm to Agra and on to Mathura to stride around the Goverdhan hill for a good 21 km.

By the time the parikrama was over at 3 am, Digvijay had blistered and swollen feet. But the devout leader, trying for a third term as chief minister, was unperturbed. He said he had been undertaking the parikrama for “years”.

Keeping him company was Balli Maharaj, one of the chief minister’s spiritual gurus who is said to have undertaken the walk 502 times.

Close behind are clairvoyants, mind-readers, numerologists and soothsayers, who are urging their politician clients to look beyond pujas and mannats (making a wish). The in-thing, they say, is to look for “harmony” in the five basic elements of space, air, fire, water and earth and to, thus, align spaces and be one with nature.

The Chinese Feng Shui and its distant Indian cousin, Vastu, are the latest fad among the leaders as these are said to exert cosmic influences on political fortunes.

Vastu expert Narendra Srivastava and his Feng Shui counterpart, Farhat Ali, said both practices are based on principles meant to restore balance at home and thus ensure success, happiness and spiritual welfare.

Placement is everything, they say. So if you are an offspring of a second or third generation successful politician, put grandad or grandmom’s photos in the southwest of your house or office. Their wisdom will be trapped for you to tap, the experts assure.

Or, paint the party office or local election office yellow: energy will flow like never before.

Numerologist Sunita Chabra chooses to swear by astrology. She firmly tells the power-seekers that Rahu in their horoscope’s tenth house or a strong Shani (Saturn) or Rajayoga would mean they were born for politics.

So, recite Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra, donate iron every Saturday and eat plenty of urad dal to please Saturn so that it doesn’t throw rings around your political fortunes, she advises.

The mantra, addressed to Lord Shiva, is a centuries-old technique of connecting to pure consciousness and bliss and is said to bestow health, wealth, success, prosperity and contentment on the devotee.

Tarot card reader Deepak Vaid, who is also a numerologist, prefers numbers to planetary alignments.

If one has a 4 or an 8 as the date of birth or if it adds up to either of these numbers, then chances of political success are that much more, he says.

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