Incidents of politicians avoiding certain acts, believing that they may bring bad luck in their political trajectory, are plenty. One among them is avoiding visits to specific locations, which they believe would result in political setbacks. However, many politicians have broken the jinx and won elections, and the latest among them is Madhya Pradesh’s new Chief Minister, Mohan Yadav.
Let’s have a look at chief ministers who busted myths and visited places that their predecessors avoided, fearing a poll debacle.
MOHAN YADAV STAYS OVERNIGHT IN UJJAIN
The new Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Mohan Yadav, who is also an MLA from Ujjain Dakshin, broke a 211-year-old jinx by staying overnight in the holy city.
It is a longstanding tradition that no political leader has spent a night in the city, as people believe that ‘Mahakal’ is the ruler of Ujjain. Speaking to the media on December 17, Chief Minister Mohan Yadav said, “Lord Mahakal is the king here and we are all his sons”.
No previous Madhya Pradesh chief ministers had attempted to spend a night in Ujjain.
Some believe that the downfall of the central government led by former Prime Minister Morarji Desai occurred after he spent a night in Ujjain in 1979. Similarly, former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa also lost his post after staying overnight in Ujjain.
YOGI ADITYANATH BREAKS NOIDA JINX
There is a belief that any chief minister who visits Noida in Uttar Pradesh would lose power and not return to assume office again. However, Yogi Adityanath, who became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in March 2017, broke this jinx and visited Noida.
In December 2017, Yogi Adityanath visited Noida to assess the preparations for the Magenta line of the Delhi Metro, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During the event, PM Modi mentioned the Noida jinx and commended Yogi Adityanath for rising above ‘superstitions’ and visiting Noida.
“If anybody thinks that not going to a place will prolong their CM tenure and visiting a place will curtail it, such a person does not deserve to be a chief minister,” PM Modi said while addressing a public meeting in Noida.
In the 2022 assembly polls, Yogi Adityanath became the first Uttar Pradesh chief minister to return after completing 5-year term and breaking the Noida jinx. Narayan Dutt Tiwari was the last Uttar Pradesh (undivided) chief minister to win consecutive terms in 1985.
Some believe that the visit to Noida was the reason for the electoral losses of several Uttar Pradesh chief ministers, including Vir Bahadur Singh, Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Kalyan Singh, and Mayawati.
The ‘Noida jinx’ began in 1988 when the then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Vir Bahadur Singh, was asked to step down from the chief minister’s chair shortly after his visit to Noida. In 1989, Narayan Dutt Tiwari lost the election, having also visited Noida. Ten years later, in 1999, Kalyan Singh seemed to be hit by the same jinx. In 1995, Mulayam was out of power within months of his Noida visit.
Most recently, Mayawati lost in the 2012 Assembly elections after she inaugurated Noida’s Dalit Smarak Sthal in October 2011.
Akhilesh Yadav always stayed away from Noida in his five-year tenure. He even skipped the Asian Development Bank Summit organised in Noida in May 2013 where then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was the chief guest.
In August 2012, then Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav inaugurated the Yamuna Expressway from Lucknow and avoided travelling to Noida. The following year, he inaugurated infrastructure projects in Gautam Buddh Nagar without visiting the city.
Rajnath Singh, who was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh avoided travelling to Noida and inaugurated the DND Flyway from Delhi.
However, going in line with Article 51A of the Indian Constitution, which says it is a fundamental duty of every individual, including politicians “to develop a scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of enquiry and reform”, many politicians are now seemingly willing to break the taboos.