MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s visit to a local astrologer at Sinnar in Nasik district has sparked a row. Anti-superstition organizations alleged the CM had gone against the prevalent law (anti-superstition and black magic Act) in the state. Shinde on Wednesday reportedly cancelled his official meetings and rushed to Shirdi to seek the blessing of Saibaba. He changed his official route and went to Sinnar to meet a local astrologer/palmist to “check the future of his government.”
Reports said Shinde visited the Shri Ishaneshwar temple at Sinnar where a member of the temple trust is a known astrologer. Shinde and his wife performed ‘pooja’ inside the temple and the CM showed his palm to the astrologer. The temple trust Baba is in Nasik and also has an office there, which Shinde regularly visits to show his palm and seek his advice.
Shinde defended his decision, saying he went in broad daylight. “Going to temples is not banned in India. We can go to any temple and meet anyone. I have already shown my hand on June 30 by toppling the Uddhav Thackeray government. I never hide anything from anyone. I went to the temple with two ministers in the presence of the media,” said Shinde.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar said no state CM had ever gone to see a ‘baba’ to check his fate. “Maharashtra is a progressive state that promotes scientific temper among its people. The present CM’s visit to an astrologer is simply unfortunate,” Pawar said. Leader of Opposition and senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar said the CM should not promote superstition when there is an anti-superstition law in the state.