Voters in one of India's poorest states will have to choose between their desire for Goats and their fear of monkeys in the state election in Bihar.
The nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party has pledged to provide a free goat – each worth around €70 – to every family living below India's official poverty line if they win the election in two of the state's districts. To fulfil the promise, they could have to buy 15 million goats.
But according to villagers in Bihar's Saharasa district they would prefer a government which tackled its 'monkey menace' in which an estimated 50,000 simians are terrorising local children and farmers.
According to villagers in Saharasa and neighbouring Simri Bakhtiyarpur constituencies, monkeys are damaging crops and attacking children guarding the fields.
"We are less interested in the free goats in this part of Bihar. Some of our leaders have raised the monkey issue in the [state] assembly, but nothing has been done about it maybe because the government saw it as too small a local issue. The voters will teach lessons to many leaders this time," Saharsa voter Ashutosh Jha told the Asian Age.