A 30-year-old woman won a municipal election in Uttar Pradesh although she had died 12 days earlier because voters decided to vote for the popular candidate as a sign of respect.
When the votes were counted in Bijnor district this month, officials said Ashiya Bi had polled a whopping 44 per cent of all votes that were cast in the fight for the civic body.
Ashiya reportedly fell ill following an acute lung and abdominal infection and died just 12 days before the election. Her grieving husband Muntazim Qureishi told election officials about the death but they said there was no procedure to remove her name from the ballot.
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Ashiya was said to be very popular in the area. Naturally, many decided to vote for the independent candidate fully knowing she was dead because they all respected her, the media quoted residents as saying.
“Ashiya made friends easily and people didn’t want to break the promise of support they gave her and hence the result,” The Times of India quoted one man, Mohammad Zakir, as saying.
Her husband said she had “won hearts with her calm demeanour”. “Our votes are a tribute to her,” The Times of India quoted another voter, Arif, as saying. Officials declared her the victor — posthumously.