Congress candidate on campaign trail in Kerala dies after tree falls on her

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A Congress candidate who was out door-to-door campaigning for the local body polls in Kerala died after a tree fell on her in Thiruvananthapuram district on Wednesday. 42-year-old R Girija Kumari was a native of Uchakkada in Parassala and was contesting on a Congress party ticket from the Puthiya Uchakkada ward of the Karode panchayat. 

Girija along with her husband, Binunath, was out campaigning in Puluvetty, Uchakkada when the accident took place. At around 11.40 am on Wednesday, she was walking along a narrow lane, when a tree which was being chopped, fell on her and killed her on the spot. The 20-foot tree was being cut down at a nearby property. Although it was tied to a rope to ensure safety, the tree swung in the opposite direction, falling on the road and crushing Girija under it. 

Girija Kumari was with the Kudumbashree Community Development Society (CDS) in Karode Panchayat for six years now. She had begun campaigning only two days ago, when her ticket was confirmed by the party. 

She is survived by husband Binunath and children Binduja G Nath and Anjuja G Nath. Her body was shifted to the Parassala Hospital mortuary for a post mortem and a COVID-19 test, following which it was handed over to her family. A case has been registered at the Pozhiyoor police station, in connection with Girija’s death. 

The Kerala local body elections will be held in three phases in December, according to the State Election Commission. The first phase will be held on December 8, and then on December 10 and December 14. Polling will be held between 7 am and 6 pm and the counting will take place on December 16. 

The much-awaited local body polls are also expected to set the mood for the 2021 Kerala Assembly elections. Therefore, it could be a litmus test for the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), which is facing anti-incumbency and has also been embroiled in controversies of late.