Dead woman wins civic polls in India

No procedure in place to remove her name from the ballot, officials say

A woman leaves a polling station during municipal elections in Uttar Pradesh, India. AFP
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An Indian politician has won a local election nearly two weeks after her death.

Ashiya Bi swept nearly 44 per cent of the vote in municipal civic body elections in the state of Uttar Pradesh, despite being deceased.

The 30-year-old independent candidate had filed for nomination for municipal civic polls from Hasanpur Nagar in Bijnor district on April 16.

Four days later, she died of acute lung and abdominal infections.

Her husband Mutajeeb Ahmed informed election officials of her death, but district authorities said that there was no procedure in place to remove her name from the ballot.

Elections were held on May 4 and she won with a heavy majority as locals who had pledged to support her voted for her out of respect.

Mr Ahmed said Ms Bi had “won hearts with her calm demeanour”.

“Ashiya made friends easily and people did not want to break the promise of support they gave her,” Mohammad Zakir, a resident told The Times of India.

The elections were held to choose councillors and mayors of municipal corporations. Another election will be held to fill the role Ms Bi was chosen for, but the date has not yet been released.

Updated: May 16, 2023, 3:38 PM