CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu government on Friday tabled a Bill in the Assembly that will allow people with leprosy, deaf and non-verbal persons also to contest in local body polls. Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act and Tamil Nadu District Municipalities Act currently disqualify persons suffering these disabilities from contesting in local body elections.
Local administration minister S P Velumani introduced a bill amending these Acts and removing the particular provisions. The bill is expected to be passed on Saturday. Speaking to Express, TMN Deepak, State president of December 3 Movement of persons with disabilities in Chennai said, “This is just the first step towards achieving our demand for a five per cent reservation in elections”. He recalled that in 2011 nomination of one T Kavitha, who is deaf, from Villupuram was rejected because of her disability.
M Ganesh, an activist fighting exclusively for people with leprosy said. “There is none to represent us and the legislation is a step forward that will largely benefit the community”.Deepak says as per UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, each State should guarantee equal political rights to the disabled. DMK MLA PK Sekar Babu who has been fighting for reservation for the community said they too should be given space and they should never be discriminated.