Some politicians in Uttar Pradesh are making much of the number 7 in the seven-phase assembly elections, saying the 'auspicious' numeral will help them win.
From invoking the 'Saptarishi' (Ursa Major) constellation, seven basic notes of Indian classical music to 'saat phere' (seven circumambulations) -- parties give different reasons and logic to claim that they will emerge victorious in the polls.
While the Bharatiya Janata Party hopes to score a hat-trick, the opposition Samajwadi Party and the Congress feel that luck will smile on them in the upcoming elections.
The Election Commission had recently announced the poll schedule in the state. Counting of votes will take place on March 10.
The state will go to polls on February 10, February 14, February 20, February 23, February 27, March 3 and March 7.
BJP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Seth said number seven is considered auspicious.
'There is 'Saptarishi' (Ursa Major) constellation. A rainbow has seven colours, and there are seven basic notes in Indian classical music. The 2017 state assembly elections and 2019 Lok Sabha elections were held in seven phases, and the BJP registered comprehensive wins. In this assembly election, which will also be held in seven phases, the BJP will win more than 300 seats,' he tweeted in Hindi.
Giving another reason for the possible victory of the saffron party, UP BJP spokesperson Manish Shukla said since the election phases will be moving from western to eastern UP, the BJP will repeat its splendid performance as it had done in the 2017 and 2019 elections.
UP leader Ashok Singh, however, accused the ruling BJP of indulging in 'politics of cheating'.
"In the elections held in the state since 2014, the BJP has only indulged in the politics of cheating. The people of the state are no longer going to be lured by 'saat rang ke sapne' (seven-coloured dreams) of the BJP. They have made up their minds to throw the BJP beyond 'saat samundar' (seven seas)," he said.
The Congress spokesman added that the party will 'easily sail through the seven seas' in the polls.
Intensifying his attack on the BJP, Singh said, "BJP leaders are in the habit of speaking lies all seven days a week, and hence they will not be in a position to draw any positive energy from the seven horses of the chariot of Sun God."
He also claimed that the 'Saptarishis' (seven revered Hindu sages) are going to bless the Congress this time.
Surendra Srivastava, vice president, UP unit of the Samajwadi Party told PTI, "The seven-phase assembly polls will prove to be lucky for the Samajwadi Party (SP) this time. The SP along with its alliance partners will enthral the people with seven musical notes, and clinch the polls, the seventh and final phase of which interestingly falls on March 7."
Ashutosh Varshney, convenor, Ram Seva Trust, Prayagraj, said, "The bride and the groom take 'seven phere' around fire during marriage to cement their bonding. Now, it remains to be seen that which party in Uttar Pradesh will eventually be able to cement its bonding with the people of the state in the ongoing elections."
Pointing to the seven holy cities of 'Saptapuris', he further said, "A Sanskrit shloka describes the seven pilgrimage cities of Ayodhya, Mathura, Maya (Mayapuri or Haridwar), Kashi (Varanasi), Kanchi (Kanchipuram), Avantika (Ujjain) and Dwaravati (Dwaraka). These seven cities are the giver of 'Moksha' (liberation) and are called Mokshapuri."
Varshney said of these, Ayodhya, Mathura and Varanasi are located in Uttar Pradesh, while Haridwar is located in Uttarakhand (another poll-bound state).
"Uttar Pradesh has 403 seats in its legislative assembly, and the single-digit sum of 403 is also 7," he added.