The Weekend Leader - Polling brings double trouble in village of twins

Polling brings double trouble in village of twins

BY AMITA VERMA   |  Allahabad


Mohammadpur Umri in Allahabad is known as the village of twins. The village has over 150 pairs of twins, almost all of them identical. Fifty-five twins are eligible to vote.

During Sunday's voting, presiding officers here had a tough time in identifying between the twins.

Since most polling officials came from other parts of the district and were blissfully aware of the twins in the village, there was trouble as one pair trooped in after another to cast their vote.

"I thought some people were playing a prank and were coming back to vote again with different ID cards. Then someone told us that this is a village of twins. We had a tough time in identifying between twins," said one polling official.

One pair of twins, known as Bada Guddu and Chhota Guddu, gave a gruelling time to election officials when they chose to remain quiet about their identities.

"We have faced such situations several times and thought that we should have some fun. So we kept quiet and did not respond to the questions of the polling officials. Then one of the elders in the village pulled us up and clarified the situation," said Bada Guddu.

The local people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, admitted that there have been instances when one twin has voted for the other.

"Some of them quickly wipe off the ink and go back to vote for his twin. Since most of them are identical twins, even we have a problem in making out the difference," the local resident said.

One polling official who had five sets of twin coming in to vote together said that he nearly fainted with shock. 

"I thought I had developed double vision because the twins were identical and dressed in similar clothes. A local person came to my rescue and helped me sort out this double trouble," he said. 

Mohammadpur Umir has an average of 100 twins per 1,000 births against the global average of 9 per 1,000 births.

Lalji Singh, known as the father of DNA finger printing in India and former director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, had visited the village and after considerable research he attributed the twinning to the high rate of inbreeding in Umri.

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