Pleasant surprise came to the serpentine queues of people waiting in line to cast their vote during the third phase of Bihar assembly polls when they saw conjoined twins Saba and Farah Shakeel in the line to cast their votes for the first time.
19-year old Saba and Farah are joined at their heads and share an artery that carries blood to their hearts. Both the sisters were excited to cast their ballot at a polling booth in the Samanpura locality of Patna.
Both the sisters casted their vote on a single voter identity card issued by the Election Commission of India which will not allow them to vote separately. The name on the card is clubbed as ”Saba Farah”.
“Conjoined twins Saba and Farah have cast their vote at a polling booth near their residence in Samanpura locality in Patna,” an official of the state election commission said here.
After casting their vote on a single voter identity card, Saba and Farah told the media that they have decided to use their right to elect a right government in the state.
”It is a moment of great pride for us. We decided to vote this time to send a message that people, particularly the youth, should come and cast their ballot. We have voted as per our willingness to take part in formation of the next government,” they said
Farah said that she could not sleep well a night before as she was very excited about casting her ballot.
”It was something we never imagined doing, but we finally have got a chance to exercise our votes,”she said.
Three months ago chief minister Nitish Kumar issued a direction to authorities to increase the twins’ monthly grant to Rs20,000 from Rs5,000 after they met him at his weekly Janata darbar
The Supreme Court had ordered the Bihar government to take care of the twins’ medical expenses. The court’s direction came on a public interest litigation filed by Aarushi Dhasmana, a law student in Pune.
The Father of twins Shakeel Ahmad, a tea stall owner in Patna, had pleaded for mercy killing for his twins in 2011.However American specialist Dr Benjamin Carson opined that separating Saba and Farah would require five or six operations, spread over nine months but there are chances that one of the girl might die.
The Supreme Court in its order had ruled out surgery to separate the two sisters after doctors said the operation risked the life of one of them despite Abu Dhabi’s crown prince Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed offering to pay for it.