60-year-old ‘sweeps’ polls, becomes Gaya dy mayor
Earlier too, Gaya had thrown a surprise when Bhagwati Devi, a stone crusher belonging to the maginalised Musahar community, was elected to Lok Sabha on RJD ticket in 1996.
PATNA: She has carried human excreta. She has swept streets. And sold lemons to make a living. Now, Chinta Devi is the new deputy mayor of Gaya in Bihar. The 60-year-old, whose three sons are also safai karmacharis in the municipal corporation, has won the civic polls with an overwhelming majority.
An MBBS student, Sannu Kumari, has also been elected as the chief councillor of Araria. She defeated former MP Sukhdeo Paswan’s wife by a huge margin. The polls were held in two phases and results were announced on Friday.
For Chinta Devi, it was her commitment to her work as a sweeper, particularly during the pandemic, that has won her respect among the residents. Though she retired from the municipality two years ago, she has been active in social work, supported by former deputy mayor Mohan Shrivastava.
Chinta Devi, a widow, is illiterate and was hesitant to file her nomination, but many people, including the sweepers’ union, persuaded her to jump into the fray. She emerged as the winner among 11 candidates..
After the results, she said, “I had never thought that I would come such a long way, and get so much love and respect.”However, also among the winners in Gaya is Laksho Devi, who was jailed for drugs smuggling. She filed her nomination from jail and got elected from ward 3 of the town.
About 65% of the 136 winners in the civic polls are freshers, and out of them, 70 are women. Though these polls are not fought on party lines, with parties lending support to candidates, sources said six mayoral seats each were won by the BJP and the grand alliance.Earlier too, Gaya had thrown a surprise when Bhagwati Devi, a stone crusher belonging to the maginalised Musahar community, was elected to Lok Sabha on RJD ticket in 1996.