Transwoman and queer rights activist Bharathi Kannamma is contesting in the upcoming Tamil Nadu polls from Madurai on a New Generation People’s Party ticket.
“I am proud to be contesting in the election as a transgender for the first time in India. We have no family so we will not be corrupt. I appeal to the people of Tamil to vote for me,” Kannamma told the media.
As part of her manifesto, Kannamma has promised to provide government jobs, ration and healthcare for the people of Madurai. She also pressed the need for reservations of transpersons in the legislature.
“I will provide one government job to every family, once I win the elections. Everyone will get enough for three meals a day. I will come up with a restaurant plan. It’s necessary to give transpersons reservations for contesting elections,” she added.
Kannamma first came into prominence in 2014 for being the first transgender person to be accepted as a candidate in a general election in India, soon after the Parliament passed the historic Rights of Transgender Persons Bill.
She fought as an independent candidate from Madurai, and promised anti-corrupt governance and good living standards for all, if she won the election.
“When people come to see me talk, they have certain set notions. It is only when they hear what I have to say and see me in person that they can get past the fact that I am a transgender,” Kannamma told the media.
Kannamma is a Bachelors in Economics, Masters in Sociology, a Diploma in Computer Engineering, and a Doctorate in Sociology.
This is Kannamma’s third attempt at contesting the elections in Tamil Nadu.
(Edited by Amrita Ghosh)