Chennai: Ending a discriminatory law which prohibited the deaf, mute and leprosy-affected persons from contesting in the local body elections in Tamil Nadu, the State government amended the archaic Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919, and the Tamil Nadu District Municipalities Act, 1920. The deaf and speech impaired persons besides lepers can now contest civic polls.
Nearly three per cent of the State population is disabled and many among them are highly educated. It is unjustified to bar them from contesting polls, Municipal Administration Minister S.P. Velumani had said.
In July this year the Minister had moved the bill to allow such persons to contest in urban local bodies.
The issue came to light during the local bodies elections in 2011 when a speech and hearing-impaired woman in Villupuram district was denied permission to contest the poll.
Former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa had announced that necessary amendments would be brought in, but the change has come only after eight years....