Sonia keeps up Indira's tradition

Offers puja for Congress victory

Sonia keeps up Indira's tradition

It’s a tradition that has been continuing for the past so many years and has brought good luck not only to the contestant but also to the party on many occasions.

On Wednesday, Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi followed the tradition when she arrived at Rae Bareli, her Lok Sabha constituency, to file her nomination papers from the seat.

Accompanied by her son and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, she went to the house of the late Congressman Pandit Gaya Prasad Shukla, which also houses the local Congress office and took part in the puja and havan (a ritual by the fire) before heading to the Collectorate to file the papers.

“It’s an old tradition...former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi also used to offer puja and take part in the havan before filing her nomination papers,” said Jagadish Shukla, Gaya Prasad Shukla’s son, to whom the mantle had now been passed.

Jagadish said Sonia had taken part in the puja and havan on all the three previous occasions in 2004, 2006 and 2009. 

“It brings good luck to her. The gods shower their blessings on her,” Jagadish said.

“We begin with puja followed by havan. Soniaji will do the purnahuti (putting the ghee in the fire with other havan material). We also tie kalawa (a red string tied on the lower arm by the priest after the puja is concluded), put tilak on her forehead and bless her,” Jagadish said.

“Soniaji will easily romp home. Her opponents will lose their security deposit. I am sure about it,” Jagadish asserted. 

He, however, did not appear to be sure about the victory of Sonia’s party.

“We are sure about Sonia’s victory, not so sure about UPA’s victory,” Jagadish remarked.It remains to be seen if following the tradition does bring her good luck once again.

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