Will Bagun Sumbrai marry yet again after polls?
Some say he has four wives, others say the number is nearly 60. And the rumour is that Bagun Sumbrai, the 74-year-old deputy speaker of the Jharkhand assembly, is preparing to marry yet again after fighting the upcoming general elections.
Sumbrai is seeking election to parliament for the fifth time from the Chaibasa Lok Sabha constituency. He is fighting on a Congress party ticket and is pitted against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Lakshman Gilua.
These days he is busy with his election campaign. But he promises to spring a surprise after the polls.
Clad in just a dhoti, Sumbrai said: "There is a surprise in store after the election."
And what might that be? "Wait till the election is over," he says.
Asked how may times he had married, he says: "Find out yourself."
Bagun first became MP in 1977 and was elected to parliament three times after that till 1991. He has several children and grandchildren. He first got married in 1942 to solve a land dispute.
"My first marriage was solemnised in 1942 to solve a property dispute. The same year I stopped wearing clothes on the upper half of the body," Sumbrai said.
Whether it is summer or chilling winter or the rainy season, he is always clad in a dhoti.
He does not see any problem in getting married to so many women either. "Lord Krishna is my inspiration. He married 1,600 women and the world worships him. In tribal society, polygamy is not taboo."
Asked why he had married so many times, he said: "I do not run after girls or women. Rather they run after me. If they find something attractive in me, what can I do? I cannot disappoint anyone who wants to marry me."
He also feels that many tribal women married him to become politicians. Anita Sumbrai is one of them.
She and Bagun Sumbrai's daughter were studying together and she married Sumbrai against her family's wishes. Anita ended up as a teacher in a government school though.
"It's true that I wanted to became a politician. But Sumbrai saheb also promoted the educational field. I married him as my guide and guru," Anita said.
Asked about her husband's other marriages, she said: "I am his fourth wife and there is none other."
But several other women also claim to be the wife of Bagun Sumbrai. Some say he has 58 wives, others say the figure is 40!
The rumour is that his big surprise after the election will be another wedding. However, there is a condition, he says. The prospective bride should be below 60.