MADURAI: The coming Assembly election in Tamil Nadu might see transgenders fight it out in various constituencies under the banner of different political parties. Transgenders in various parts of the state are seeking party ticket as the community wants to enter mainstream politics, P. Sudha, president, Indian Transgender Initiative, Chennai, told Deccan Chronicle. Transgenders decided to enter electoral politics at a meeting held in Chennai recently. Members of various transgender associations who participated in the meeting wanted the community voice to be heard in the Assembly.
For the last 25 years, the community members had fought various struggles to attain social acceptance in Tamil society. “NGOs, social activists and political leaders also expressed their solidarity in our struggle for social empowerment. Now, we feel it is right time to stand on our own on political front,” said Sudha. “As we don’t have a family, we would channelise our entire energy to work only for the welfare of people,” said 35-year-old Devi who runs an orphanage home called ‘Thai Madi’ at Salem. Impressed by her commitment to social cause, Seeman, founder of NTK, invited her to contest in the election.
Anushiya justifies her entry into politics stating that the problems of transgenders were already represented through third parties, which created artificial barriers between them and other people. K. Raadhika, (43), of Salem had expressed her willingness to contest from Salem south constituency during the candidates interview by DMDK leader Vijayakanth. Raadhika joined DMDK after Vijayakanth announced welfare measures and political representation for transgenders in the party’s earlier election manifesto.
Meanwhile, transgender Bharathi Kannamma, who contested as an independent in 2014 Lok Sabha election also, received invitation from PMK and Samathuva Makkal Katchi to contest on their party ticket. Transgender K. Ragasiya from Chennai also approached DMK for ticket, while Sudha decided to approach AIADMK. Journalist Apsara of Chennai also joined BJP on International Women’s Day.