This family of 47 voters is being wooed by all parties in Bihar

It’s a joint family of 85 people, with 47 being voters and in this poll season, they find themselves much in demand in Bihar's Kishanganj constituency. Leaders and workers of all political parties are eyeing the joint family, probably the largest in Bihar.

Although the family of 35 children, 30 women and 55 men lives under one roof in Jiyagachi village in Purnea district, about 350 km from Patna, but they are part of the Kishanganj parliamentary constituency after delimitation.

Muslims make up more than 66.7 per cent of the voters in Kishanganj. The Congress has fielded its sitting MP Maulana Ishrarul Haque,  the ruling Janata Dal (United) has fielded Akhtarul Iman, after he quit the Rashtriya Janata Dal, and the BJP has fielded Dilip Jayswal.

"We are in high demand as 47 members of our joint family would cast their votes in the Lok Sabha polls," said Mohd Nazir who is head of the family. Now in his early 60s, Nazir is a farmer. He said that his joint family's importance has increased ahead of the polls. "Leaders are trying to take us into confidence for support as we are equal to more than a dozen nuclear families," he said.

His joint family owns 20 bighas of agricultural land. Nazir's two younger brothers are school teachers and they provide their monthly salary to him to manage the family.

‘Big responsibility’

“I have been given the responsibility to run and manage the joint family, which has been living together for three generations," he said. "We consume 20 kg rice and the same amount of flour in each meal," he added.

Nazir’s brother Mohd Ashfaque's wife Anjera Khatoon is the mukhiya, the head of the village panchayat. Khatoon said that all children of her joint family are being educated. "We have decided to provide education to all children in the family, because it is the only way to get ahead in life," she said. 

Khatoon said she may be the mukhiya of the panchayat, but the family head is her husband's elder brother, Nazir. "He is the final authority and manages the family in such a way that no one has any grievances," she said.

Police official Mahender Prasad Yadav said that Nazir's family also provides help to the police to solve disputes and problems in the village.

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