As the Election Commission today made it official that the dates for the national election would be announced at 5 pm, concerns were expressed by a few politicians - but entirely of the astrological kind.
Some politicians from the south, including a governor, wanted the timing of the announcement changed. The reason - today, the period between 4.30 and 6 pm would be Rahu Kaal or an inauspicious time of the day, which is not considered favourable for the start of any activity. Some of the "worried" politicians questioned whether the powerful election body could reschedule its press meet.
According to mythology, Rahu Kaal covers a span of about 90 minutes every day in between sunrise and sunset.
Politicians in southern states have been in the news for their preoccupation with astrology.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao chose auspicious time for his swearing-in on December 13 after his landslide victory last year. Months before the polls, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi or TRS leader had even waited for an auspicious hour to declare the dissolution of the state assembly, sources close to him have told NDTV.
In neighbouring Karnataka, Governor Vajubhai Vala reportedly waited for Rahu Kaal to end before meeting leaders political parties to resolve a turmoil in the aftermath of the BJP's BS Yeddyurappa staking claim to form the government. Former prime minister HD Deva Gowda is also a strict follower of astrology and consults his personal astrologer on important issues.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is also known to be a believer in astrology. Mr Naidu, who heads the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), took oath as the first chief minister of Andhra Pradesh after its bifurcation at 7.27 pm, as prescribed by his astrologers.
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