The Congress may still be grappling for answers for its fortunes hitting rock bottom in politics and its inability to regain lost glory, but astrologers in Uttar Pradesh seem to have found the answer.
According to them, it is the absence of the fate line in the Congress symbol -- the palm -- which is preventing the party's revival.
The fate line runs from the bottom of the palm to the top and the deeper it is, the better is considered one's fate.
The astrologers insist that if the Congress makes changes in its election symbol and adds the fate line to the palm, its fortunes could change for the better.
"The absence of a fate line in one's hand makes the person lose direction," said L.K. Tripathi, a well-known astrologer.
"When it is absent, there is no real sense of direction. When it is there -- and, as a rule, there is almost always some semblance of the line present, no matter how long or short it is -- the owner will have some sort of aim in life.
"This line maintains an overall balanced approach. The stronger it is, the more some semblance of self-control will be present," Tripathi explained.
Vipin Pandey, another well-known astrologer said that the total absence of the fate line stalls one's progress.
In terms of the Congress, he said that the party had prospered only when other planetary positions strongly favoured it.
"The Congress got the hand symbol in 1977 and it was voted out of power. The party made a phenomenal comeback in 1980 and 1984 because other planetary positions favoured the party.
"After 1984, the party has not been able to get a majority on its own and has been on the downslide," he explained.
Meanwhile, a veteran Congress leader in Lucknow admitted that most party men were aware of the "missing fate line" and some had even suggested necessary changes to the party high command.
"The party leadership does not believe in such 'superstitions' but most of us do. There is no harm in approaching the Election Commission and adding the fate line -- if only to respect the sentiments of party workers.
Several political parties have made changes in their party offices to boost their fortunes. The BJP office in Lucknow has undergone several changes -- they even felled a Chilbil tree that supposedly brought them bad luck.
Almost all politicians wear rings to guard themselves against bad luck. Even Mayawati wears only pink on her birthdays.
Incidentally, it is only Rahul Gandhi who does not wear any ring or bracelet.
Party leaders say that there have been occasions when bad luck has hit the party like a bolt from the blue.
"Take the case of 2017. Before we allied with the Samajwadi Party, the Congress was on a roll with its "27 Saal, UP Behaal" campaign. The alliance was also touted as a winner all the way but when the results came out, we had hit rock bottom," said a party MLA.
The BJP, in 2018, had asked the Election Commission to withdraw the election symbol of the Congress since it violated the Representation of People's Act as well as the Model Code of Conduct.
In a six-page letter to the Election Commission, BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyaya had said that the "palm" is a part of human body and an "inseverable part of the human body at any point of time". He noted that the palm could be used to woo voters even after a poll campaign officially ends.
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