Much as he tries astrologer Rajan Chopra can’t keep the pride out of his voice as he speaks to me for the second time in 24 hours.

parrot1.jpg It’s victory march at 7 Race Course Road after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wins a closely-fought vote of confidence 275 to 256 in parliament and the temptation for Chopra to say “I told you so” is overwhelming. But Chopra, a political and corporate astrologer who predicted yesterday that the government would win the trust vote, says “it’s a victory for astrologers as well”.

If popular predictions are anything to go by then stargazers say the strong Saturn in Congress President Gandhi’s astrological chart is to be thanked for the government’s victory and the Congress party will be wise to look heaven wards for further guidance before general elections next year.

“As I have said before, Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh will play a very crucial role now, along with party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav,” Chopra says. “I am basing my prediction on three things – the chart of the Congress party, that of opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and of Sonia Gandhi.”

Don’t the stars of Manmohan Singh count for anything? His answer confirms something that non-stargazers suspected all along. “Gandhi is the main force behind him.”