By Imran Khan, Patna, March 30 IANS | 9 months ago

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.

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.

Their village may be in Purnea, but they are part of the Kishanganj parliamentary constituency after delimitation.

Muslims make up more than 66.7 percent of the voters in Kishanganj. The Congress has fielded its sitting MP Maulana Ishrarul Haque, 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 vote in the Lok Sabha polls," said Mohd Nazir who is head of the family.

Nazir, in his early 60s, 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 agriculture land.

Nazir's two younger brothers are school teachers and they provide their monthly salary to him to manage the family.

"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 same amount of flour in each meal," he said.

Nazir brother Mohd Ashfaque's wife Anjera Khatoon is mukhiya, village head of the panchayat.

Khatoon said that all children of her joint family are getting education.

"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 mukhiya of 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 police to solve disputes and problems in the village.

(Imran Khan can be contacted at imran.k@ians.in)

(Posted on 30-03-2014)

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