Officially dead candidates edge closer to being elected

The Times of India reports, on May 16, 2014:

Dead men poll-vault to life in east UP

AZAMGARH: The ‘living dead’ of eastern Uttar Pradesh have been using polls as a means to show to the world that they are alive. They are all candidates of Mritak Sangh (dead people group) which is fighting for justice for those who have been fraudulently declared dead by their relatives in panchayat and revenue records to claim properties.

This time the papers of Mritak Sangh’s Azamgarh candidate ‘Murda’ Ram Avatar Yadav were rejected but that hasn’t deterred its president Lal Bihari ‘Mritak’ who keeps innovating on ways to bring these dead people alive…. He proudly flaunted his title ‘Mritak’ meaning dead. Bringing dead people alive is now a full-time occupation and also obsession for this 55-year-old from Sanjarpur….

[He] contested for the first time in Allahabad Lok Sabha by-election in 1988 against VP Singh, Kanshi Ram and Sunil Shaastri. The next stop was Amethi in 1989 – against Rajiv Gandhi and Rajmohan Gandhi. Thereafter he contested six more elections – from assembly to local bodies – before he was finally declared alive on June 30, 1994….

His work got him the Ig Nobel from Harvard in 2003. But as he could not travel to Harvard at that time, he was formally honoured in February this year at BITS Pilani at the conclave of Ig Nobel winners…..