Transgender Enters Polls Via EC Option
Bharathi Kannamma (53), a transgender who was not allowed to contest the Mayoral polls, is contesting from Madurai Parliamentary constituency as an independent candidate without compromising her gender identity, thanks to the EC for introducing ‘Other Category’ in the Elector’s Photo Identity Card.
Two years ago, her nomination for the Mayor election in Madurai was rejected because it was filed under the ‘transgender’ category. “I want to serve common people. But that doesn’t mean that I have to compromise my gender identity,” Bharathi told Express.
“As EC has issued photo identity cards to 71 members of my community in Madurai under other category, now we have official recognition to contest the polls,” Bharathi said adding, “Since, most of the parties are using my community as a showpiece aimed at garnering votes, I have decided to contest as an independent.”
Bharathi launched Hum Sathi Makkal Iyakkam (We Are Together People Forum) to campaign for her in the Lok Sabha polls. “Since we do not have families and children, we may not tend to get involved in corruption and make money after coming to power,” she felt.
Bharathi completed graduation in Economics in 1978. She has worked as a sales manager in HDFC and community advisor in an NGO, working on HIV. In 2010, she formed Bharathi Kannamma Trust to work for the transgenders. The District Legal Aid selected her as a member of the Lok Adalat.