Voting for the Madhya Pradesh assembly polls may have concluded but elements tied to it continue to amuse citizens, particularly those on social media.
A video of the Congress candidate from Ratlam, Paras Saklecha, gladly taking slipper slaps doled out by a fakir is being widely shared on the internet.
Mr Saklecha, who lost the elections in 2013 and 2018, visited the fakir on Thursday with a pair of new slippers to seek his blessings.
Mr Saklecha could not be reached despite multiple attempts.
The video shows the fakir, who lives at a dargah on Mhow Road, hitting the former legislator on the head and then the cheeks.
In the Video, @INCIndia MLC Candidate from MP, Paras saklecha is seen handing slippers to an elderly Kamal Raza (fakir baba) asking to be beaten (blessing).
Irony will be that this Congress leader will go and call others Andhbhakt! pic.twitter.com/wevoNyUMfF
— Amit Rakksshit 🇮🇳 (@amitrakshitbjp) November 18, 2023
As the elderly ascetic, affectionately called ‘Abba’ by locals, continues hitting Mr Saklecha, the Congress leader requests him to stop saying “bas, bas, ho gaya (that is enough)”, as per the video.
Many people visit the fakir, who smacks them with footwear, with the belief that it would bring them good luck. While they offer him lungis and footwear, the ascetic accepts them from a few and throws away the rest.
After receiving blows, Mr Saklecha was heard saying, “The fakir baba has warded off evil shadows, if any, upon me.” The Congress nominee has been pitted against BJP’s Chetan Kashyap.
Mr Saklecha won the Ratlam assembly constituency as an independent candidate in 2008, defeating the then home minister Himmat Kothari. However, he lost to Mr Kashyap in the 2013 and 2018 polls.
While attempts to contact Mr Saklecha and Mr Kashyap did not succeed, their acquaintances said they might be resting after a hectic campaigning schedule.
Assembly elections were held in Madhya Pradesh on Friday with a voter turnout of 76.22 per cent, the highest in the state’s history. Votes will be counted on December 3.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)