As Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan draw near, political leaders from both these states have started to make a beeline for the Devi Bagalamukhi (Pitambara Peeth) temple in Madhya Pradesh’s Datia district to seek divine help and ward off trouble.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, who also happens to be the president of the temple’s Trust, is likely to organise a five-day long “jaap” (a long prayer reciting the same verse thousands of time) and “havan” within the next few months before the election bugle is sounded for the desert state, according to officials in the temple.
Several MLAs from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have already started thronging the temple on a regular basis to conduct pujas and pray to the goddess for political “well being”.
An official from the temple told The Sunday Guardian, “The goddess here is believed to be the goddess of political power. Whenever there is an election, the arrival of politicians also increases. Now, elections to Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are round the corner; so leaders have already started coming in. We have also been getting many requests for conducting special puja from several big leaders.”
A temple priest told this correspondent: “Devi Bagalamukhi is the reason why so many leaders are today sitting at the highest seats of political power in different states. The BJP government in Uttar Pradesh is also a blessing of the goddess. ”
Chief Ministers like Shivraj Singh Chouhan of Madhya Pradesh and Raman Singh of Chhattisgarh have been ardent devotees of the goddess, and visit the temple almost every year.
Not only this, just a month back, Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister and senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia also visited the Pitambara Peeth temple along with his wife to offer prayers to the goddess and had camped near the temple for almost three days.
Former President of India Pranab Mukherjee had also visited the temple during his tenure, and even current President, Ram Nath Kovind, visited to seek blessings from the goddess before he became the President. Even officials from the Prime Minister’s Office reportedly visited the temple recently in a chartered flight to seek blessings from the goddess and returned to Delhi the same day.
Manav, hotel manager of Tourist Motel in Datia, told this newspaper, “The Devi came to be hugely revered during the 1962 Indo-China war. There was a huge havan that was organised inside the temple and as soon as the havan ended, peace was declared on both sides of the border. Ever since then, she came to be known across the country.”