Bihar polls: Political aspirations overshadow family ties

Patna, Oct 22 (IANS)
Political aspirations generally force leaders to switch parties to capture power, but in the Bihar Assembly poll the aspirations are hurting family relations. This is also causing confusion among the voters.
In this election, while a mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law are contesting against each other, an uncle and his nephew are also face-to-face. The voters are also confused about whom to vote for because in many instances they share good relations with both sides. The electoral bout between family members has made the election interesting.
In the Ramnagar Assembly constituency, a mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law have both filed nominations, making them compete against each other. BJP MLA Bhagirathi Devi is facing a tough fight against her daughter-in-law Rani Kumari. Her daughter-in-law may be new in politics compared to Bhagirathi Devi, who has represented Ramnagar twice, but she is seeking votes on an emotional level.
Rani said that she will go door-to-door and expose the promise of development. “Public is the kingmaker, it will make the decision,” Devi said in response to Rani’s statement.
In Jokihat seat of Seemanchal, two sons of former MLA late Taslimuddin are contesting against each other. Taslimuddin had represented the constituency five times. Thereafter, his son Sarfaraz Alam won the seat four times. But when he won the by-election from the Araria Lok Sabha constituency as a Rashtriya Janata Dal candidate in 2018, he resigned as the Jokihat MLA.
After that, his younger brother Shahnawaz Alam became an MLA from Jokihat on a RJD ticket during the by-polls. Subsequently, Sarfaraz Alam lost the 2019 Lok Sabha election and now has returned to his traditional Jokihat seat and got a ticket from the RJD. In this situation, Shahnawaz has entered the electoral arena on behalf of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).
In another interesting contest, two sisters-in-law — ‘Jethani’ and ‘Devrani’ — are in the political fray in Shahpur Assembly constituency of Bhojpur. Former MLA Munni Devi has been re-nominated by the BJP, while the wife of her husband’s elder brother, Shobha Devi, has entered the election arena as an Independent candidate. Shobha Devi’s husband Visheshwar Ojha was a BJP candidate in the last election.
Anand Rai, son of former MLA Rampravesh Rai from Madhaura Assembly seat in Saran district, is contesting as an Independent candidate. At the same time, his uncle Jairam Rai has also entered the poll fray.
Voting in the three-phased Bihar election for the 243-member Assembly will be held on October 28, November 3 and November 7, while the counting of votes will take place on November 10.

(Manoj Pathak can be reached at

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