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No winners in the astrology game

MANGALORE: A million rupees is enough incentive to take up any challenge but that does not mean that there is always a winner – especially when it comes to astrological predictions.

In a move to dispel myths about the power of astrology, the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations held a contest for astrologers and none of them were able to make correct predictions. The astrologers were asked to answer about 25 questions pertaining to the Lok Sabha elections-2009 and earn Rs10 lakh.

Speaking to Bangalore Mirror on the outcome of the contest, Narendra Nayak, president of the association stressed that once again astrology has been proved to be a flop.

“We received a total of 400 entries out of which 31 were received after the last date. Out of the entries received, 175 had proposed the name of BJP leader L K Advani as the next Prime Minister,” Nayak said.

One interesting observation made was that most of the Hindu astrologers had replied on behalf of Advani, while people from the minority communities swore by Dr Manmohan Singh. Some said they had given the answer through sixth sense, some gave in the name of the Almighty. One person also claimed tto have been appointed by God. The replies had come from managers of temples, lawyers, bankers and others claiming to be astrologers. “One person even asked for payment of Rs 300 for sending the reply,” Nayak said.

JUST SIX OUT OF 25

The topper in this challenge was H M Omkarappa of Chitradurga, who got six answers right out of 25. In all, 99 contestants had maintained that Manmohan Singh would become the Prime Minister while Pranab Mukherjee got nine votes, Mayawati – 12, Sonia Gandhi – seven, Rahul Gandhi – 14, Deve Gowda got two and Jayalalitha, four.

Two of the member organisations of the Federation had put forward a similar challenge in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. In West Bengal, the price money announced was Rs 25 lakh. In Hyderabad, two astrologers had predicted that Advani would be the Prime Minister and Chandrababu Naidu the Chief Minister. They also claimed that they would quit astrology if they were proved wrong. However, since the last two days, they have not been available on their mobile phones, Nayak said.

INCREASE IN PRICE MONEY
Initially, when the Federation began this challenge nearly two decades ago, the price money was only Rs 50,000. The amount gradually increased to Rs 1 lakh and this time the amount fixed was Rs 10 lakh. But there has never been a winner.

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