Patna: A candidate in India’s village elections walked bare foot on hot embers to convince the voters that he would keep his promises and sincerely work for the betterment of villagers if he is victorious.
Munna Mahato, who is contesting elections for the post of Mukhiya (village council head) in Bihar, walked multiple times on hot embers during his “trial by fire” attended by a large number of villagers. He has filed his nominations from Sher village council under Sidhwalia block in Gopaganj, a north Bihar district bordering Uttar Pradesh.
Mahato was upset over the fact that the local villagers were not taking his pre-poll promises quite seriously and kept ignoring his candidature. He was also displeased that the villagers have forgotten that he had spent his hard-earned Rs150,000 to serve food to the poor during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.
On Monday evening, the man burnt a quintal of mango trunks at a public place and walked on the burning embers to prove he was serious about the elections and the promises he had made. Interestingly, the man suffered no burn injuries despite walking repeatedly on the embers. “Had I done any wrong my feet would have burnt but see I am still campaigning in the areas. I follow the principles,” Mahato said, talking to this correspondent over phone on Wednesday.
“I have passed the rigorous test by walking over fire and I promise to work for the welfare of the masses and the society if I get their blessings,” he said. Villagers say his entry into the fray has made the contest very interesting.
Recently, another candidate was found touring his constituency with a real chimney on an electric rickshaw after he was allotted Chimney as the poll symbol. Some others are campaigning by riding bullock carts to prove they are “grass-root” persons and have not forgotten the village culture still.
The 11-phased village council polls are underway to elect 255,000 council representatives for various posts. They include 8,072 village council chiefs, 113,307 council members, 11,104 village council committee members, 1,160 district council members, 8,072 Sarpanch or village court judges which have limited judicial powers and 113,307 gram kutchery panchs (officials to assist Sarpanch).