MIRZAPUR: Elections are not just about caste equations, religion, development, campaigning and mud-slinging to achieve voter support, Divine intervention is sought too.

A number of purohits (priests) in Vindhyachal, the mother of all ‘shaktipeeths’ (power shrine) are working overtime to evoke, augment and amplify the deity’s energy in favour of their political ‘jajmaans’ (devoted clients). Though the priests never divulge the details, special anushthaans (ceremonies) are underway for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, home minister Rajnath Singh, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and Congress Party leader Rahul Gandhi among others.

They may be politicians or powerful leaders but anyone who visits the temple is a devotee and like any ordinary person, members of political parties can get various pujas organised secure a successful future,” said Rajan Pathak, president of Sri Vindhyavasini Panda Samaj that has over 1,400 registered members. “Elections are a big occasion for the priests, therefore, they quietly hold different pujas like ‘vijay anushthan’ and ‘Chandi paath’ here. Indira Gandhi was a regular visitor to the temple while Rahul Gandhi is a recent entrant and BJP leader Rajnath Singh’s association with the temple is famous,” he added.

The reason for the religious exercise is that Vindhyachal is believed to be the hub of divine energies. It is said that powers of Lakshmi (as Maa Vindhyavasini), the epitome of material wealth, Saraswati (as Ashtabhuja) who embodies intelligence and Kali the face of valour and strength all merge in Vindhyanchal to form a power triangle. “A puja in this place is a guarantee for sure and immediate returns,” said Shakti Upadhyaya whose ancestors performed a ‘vijay anushthaan’ for socialist leader Raj Narain in 1977. “Raj Narain had pledged to defeat Indira Gandhi. He came to the temple to perform a yagya and rest is history,” Shakti stated.
RJD leader Lalu Yadav’s comeback in Bihar politics is also attributed to the same place, thanks to his guru Pagal Shankar. Though the guru was not available for comment, his prime disciple Ashok Soni claimed, “Our guruji is truly blessed. We believe he is Lord Shiva incarnate with a number of miracles associated with him, including that he can be at two places at the same time.” About association of Lalu Yadav with their ashram, he said, “Guru ji has many disciples and Lalu ji is one of them. He came in touch with Guruji at the age of seven.”

Nagababa Darshan Muni Kamauli Wale who has ashrams in Vindhyachal, Chandauli and Varanasi has devotees from the Samajwadi Parivar. Talking to TOI, the seer said, “They come here for blessings…elections mein bhi aate hain…kursi ke liye ashirwad mangte hain (they come during elections to seek blessings for power).” About ongoing anushthans, he said, “Main araam se leta hu…aise to anushthaan nahin ho sakta (I am relaxing in bed… ceremonies are not performed like this).”

Assistant professor of Tourism Management, Banaras Hindu University, Anil Singh said a number of film stars also come to the place for various ceremonies. “The case of Aishwarya Rai is well known—she was married to a tree to mitigate negative influence of stars—while many celebrities visit this this place discreetly and frequently.” About elections, he said, “The pandas often say Pandavas got kingdom and Lord Ram was crowned king of Ayodhya only after worshipping the deity.”