Bihar: Barachatti poll pits siblings, in-laws against each other | india | Hindustan Times
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Bihar: Barachatti poll pits siblings, in-laws against each other

The political script of Bihar’s Barachatti assembly constituency is fit for primetime soap opera, with a serpentine plot of family connections and sibling rivalry adding to the contest.

india Updated: Oct 13, 2015 23:26 IST
Ruchir Kumar
Representative image
Representative image(Illustration: Jayanto)

The political script of Bihar’s Barachatti assembly constituency is fit for a primetime soap opera, with a serpentine plot of family connections and intrigue that also adds a dash of sibling rivalry to a fiery contest.

One of the protagonists is Jyoti Devi, an in-law of BJP ally and former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi. The JD(U) legislator and long-time supporter of CM Nitish Kumar was confident of getting a ticket. But a slight hesitation in choosing sides has left her high and dry, as she finds herself out of favour with both Kumar’s party and the Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM).

Intricate seat-sharing arrangements have led to an RJD nominee fighting the election here from the CM’s Grand Alliance, while an LJP leader is the candidate of the BJP-led NDA that also includes HAM.

Left with no choice, Jyoti Devi is now rooting for the LJP pick.

Apart from this run-in, Barachatti also throws up a fight among siblings. Born to late MP Bhagwatia Devi, Vijay Manjhi and Samata Devi are gunning for each other.

While Vijay, a former MLA from Lalu Prasad’s RJD, was a ticket aspirant from the JD(U), his sister has emerged as the RJD candidate from the seat.

Upset with the leadership for overlooking him, Vijay has now reportedly deserted Samata Devi and is canvassing for rival LJP candidate Shobha Devi for the October 16 election.

“It is useless to talk about him (Vijay). He has written his political epitaph by not sticking to a political leadership,” Samata Devi said. “Neither do I have, nor am I interested in any information about him.”

Vijay Manjhi, however, said he was campaigning for the JD(U).

The other prominent face in the contest, Shobha Devi, is the daughter-in-law of Gaya BJP MP Hari Manjhi who is wholeheartedly campaigning for her. While he hopes to retain the seat of power in Parliament, he also wants to ensure that his “bahu” walks into Bihar’s legislative assembly unhindered.