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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Mystery man messes with Nandan Nilekani's stars

Sudipto Mondal, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 22, 2014
First Published: 01:13 IST(22/3/2014) | Last Updated: 16:08 IST(22/3/2014)

Superstition might not be the aadhaar (foundation) of Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani’s brand of politics. But a mystery man, allegedly planted by the BJP, prevented him from meeting a divine deadline for filing nomination papers from Bangalore South constituency on Friday afternoon.

Luck has eluded the Congress in Bangalore South since 1989. The party thus wanted Nilekani, its candidate with assets worth '7,700 crore, to have the best possible start — by beating a gloomy phase called Rahukala.

Astrologers in Nilekani’s camp found 12:26 pm to be perfect time for the paperwork. So they sought the 12:15-12:45 pm slot from returning officer KV Trilok Chandra.

But a mysterious independent candidate named Prabhu had taken up Nilekani’s slot for filing papers, angering his supporters. Prabhu emerged from Chandra’s office at 12:35pm and sneaked away after rubbishing claims that he was a BJP agent.

Read: Nilekani, wife declare assets worth Rs. 7,700 crore 

The Congress fury was understandable. Nilekani’s opponent is BJP’s Ananth Kumar, who has won five consecutive elections from Bangalore South.

The party had earlier betrayed a hint of infighting as two ministers reportedly tried to avoid accompanying Nilekani and his wife Rohini for filing the papers. If DK Shivakumar showed up only for his supporters to chant his name, Ramalinga Reddy came reluctantly. Reddy makes no bones about his friendship with Ananth Kumar.

Nilekani, architect of the Aadhaar program under UIDAI, chose not to talk astrology.

“I wanted the people to know I made my money honestly and ethically. That is why I declared my assets a day before filing my nomination,” he said.

Read: Why Nilekani may have the edge in Bangalore seat


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