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Clarifications Apart, Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde’s Astrologer Visit Goes Viral

Maharashtra Chief minister Eknath Shinde’s unscheduled detour in Nasik district on Wednesday (Nov 24) has become the talk of the town following media reports that he had dashed to Eeshanyeshwar temple in nearby Sinnar to consult an astrologer. ‘Shinde came only for darshan in the temple, not to know his future,’ astrologer Ashok Kharat has clarified. Shinde had visited the famous Shirdi Saibaba temple amidst tight security on Wednesday. On way back to Mumbai, his convoy suddenly turned to Eeshanyeshwar temple in adjacent Sinnar taluka. This diversion in his schedule resulted in his criticism in which NCP president Sharad Pawar and many Shiv Sena (Uddhav) leaders joined. Workers of the anti-superstition groups, too, hit out at Shinde ‘for this anti-scientific act.’ Education minister Deepak Kesarkar, who had accompanied the CM and his wife to the temple, has explained that Shinde had made a donation some time ago to the astrologer who wished to develop a shelter for cows. Kharat had requested Shinde to visit the temple and the CM acquiesced. Kesarkar said, “Kharat is my friend. Revenue minister Radhakrishan Vikhe Patil and I were present with the Shinde couple.” Disapproving the spread of ‘wrong’ information, Kesarkar quipped, “Had Shinde wanted to know his future, he would have called Kharat to Mumbai.” One of Shinde team’s ministers remarked, “Shinde creates futures. He does not need to know his future from an astrologer.”