Ujjain: History looks set to repeat itself. The Gandhi ‘Parivar’ makes it a point to visit the Mahakal temple during every ‘Maha Moment.’ Facing political turmoil, Indira Gandhi had visited Mahakaleswar Temple on December 29, 1979, after the Congress had lost the general elections in 1977 in the Emergency aftermath. Despite being barred from entering the sanctum-sanctorum during the ‘Bhasma-Aarti’, as per rituals, the ‘Iron Lady’ had waited outside for more than 90 minutes and then performed puja. She returned to power and died in harness, but never returned to pay obeisance.
Likewise, ahead of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections in 2008, the then Congress President Sonia Gandhi, on June 20, had paid obeisance at the Mahakal temple, the seat of one of the 12 jyothirlingas in the country. She also offered a ‘swarna kalash’ (golden pot). However, the party failed to return to power in the state. In what was considered another bad patch, the third generation scion, Rahul Gandhi, performed ‘panchamrut pujan’ at Mahakaleswar Jyotirlingam on October 29, 2018, before hitting the campaign trail in the BJP-dominated Malwa-Nimar region.