Counting for the Uttar Pradesh Panchayat elections is still underway in many districts after it began on Sunday. Several candidates who won the elections died before the results were announced because of Covid-19. Candidates from Mainpuri, Deoria, Kannauj, Pratapgarh and Barabanki districts won the election but did not live to see their victory.
The first such instance was that of Pinki Devi of Nagla Usar, the gram panchayat of Kuravali block in Mainpuri. She contested for the post of village head, but died three days ago. She was declared the winner from her panchayat on Sunday. Her health suddenly began to worsen on Wednesday. She complained of difficulty in breathing, after which the family took her to a private hospital in Agra for treatment. Pinky succumbed during treatment. Pinki Devi had secured a total of 388 votes, while her nearest rival Chandravati got 273 votes.
Meanwhile, in another case reported from Kapuri Ekauna gram panchayat in Deoria, another candidate, Vimla Devi, died after showing Covid-19-like symptoms. Vimla Devi was rushed to the hospital a day before counting because she had fever and breathing trouble. She was admitted to the Covid ward and put on oxygen support on Sunday morning but that too could not save her life and she died around 9:30 am on Sunday. Speaking to the media, Vimla Devi’s husband Ram Manohar Tripathi said, “My wife had fever on Saturday and difficulty in breathing, we took her to hospital but she could not be saved. Now the entire village is sad as she is not here to celebrate the victory.” Vimla Devi was declared winner as she had bagged 556 votes, while her nearest rival Sarva Prabha had bagged 348 votes.
Two candidates more candidates from Pratapgarh died. The outgoing village head Manju Singh of Kalakankar Gram Panchayat won the election with 451 votes. Manju Singh, who was the head of his village thrice, died due to illness three days before the counting of votes. Similarly, another candidate for the village head post, Ramsukh from Madura Raniganj village of Mangraura block, won the election with 523 votes. Both the candidates for the post of village head died three days ago due to illness.
Similarly, in Kannauj, a candidate who won the election of the village head died of Covid. The deceased, Ramendra, got 359 votes. He contested from the Uttamapur gram panchayat of Jalalabad block.
Another village head candidate Kusumlata, who won from the gram panchayat of Ranapur in Hydergarh block of Barabanki by a margin of 60 votes, died four days before the election results. She was keeping unwell and was under treatment in Lucknow. At the same time, Bhagauti Prasad Verma (75), the village head from Devkali gram panchayat of Siddhaur block, died late on Saturday night. He won the election by 510 votes. At the same time, Shivkumari (60), another village head candidate from Padrava seat, died during the counting of votes on Sunday, although the result of her elections could not be announced till late in the night.
Meanwhile, as per the rules of the Election Commission, there will be a by-election at all the places where the winners have died. The date for this will be announced by the State Election Commission soon.