On October 22, the electronic voting machines would not only reveal Maharashtra Assembly poll results but also the winner of another interesting contest -- between rationalists and astrologers.
The Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti (Superstition Eradication Committee), which labels astrology as a fraud, has invited astrologers to predict the results of the election and announced a Rs 21 lakh prize for the winner, if any.
The participating astrologers are required to obtain horoscopes of 10 candidates of their choice, and predict how many votes each would get and the victory margin in each case. They would also have to predict party-wise break-up of seats in the new Assembly.
"Earlier, our deadline was October 12, but we have decided to extend it up to October 21," Samiti leader Dr Narendra Dabhokar told PTI.
"If the prediction is 80 per cent correct, it would be enough. But the astrologer must also explain the scientific reasoning behind the prediction," Dabhokar said.