Close on the heels of the veil controversy, UPA-Left Presidential nominee Pratibha Patil has kicked up another row having claimed that she had a "divine premonition" of greater responsibility coming her way after speaking to a late spiritual guru.
"I had a pleasant experience," Patil told a gathering in Mt Abu in February recounting her meeting with the head of Brahma Kumaris World Spritual University, Hridaymohini, also popularly known as 'dadiji'.
"Dadiji ke shareer mein baba aye," she said. Her reference was to Dada Lekhraj who founded Brahma Kumari sect. Lekhraj died in 1969.
Patil claimed the late Baba spoke to her indicating that she should be prepared to shoulder greater responsibility. "He also made me very lucky," she added.
The Congress and the CPI(M) downplayed the reports about Patil's divine premonition.
"She meets so many people. That does not mean that she does what all those people do," Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters at its headquarters.
CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat spoke in similar vein saying the Left had never said that the Presidential candidate should be an athiest or a non-believer.
He went on to add that the Congress decided the candidate and not any 'baba' (godman).
Patil was in Mt Abu when Congress President Sonia Gandhi called her to seek her consent for her being nominated as a UPA-Left candidate for the Presidential poll.
Soon after her nomination, Patil had triggered a controversy with her remarks that women in Rajasthan had to wear veil to protect themselves from the invading Mughals.