42 transgender voters enlisted in district

With increasing social awareness on citizens’ rights, the number of transgender persons who are eligible to vote in the upcoming Assembly elections has improved in Kozhikode district. The official records released by the District Election Authority state that there are now 42 transgender voters who are expected to exercise their franchise in the district.

Kozhikode North, Beypore, Elathoor, Nadapuram, and Thiruvambadi Assembly constituencies now have the majority of such voters. There are also transgender activists who have expressed their desire to contest the elections with the political support of any willing parties in Kerala.

In 2015, the total number of such voters across the State was just 82. As in Kozhikode, an increase in the number of such voters was visible in other districts. As per the recently released report, there are now 165 transgender voters in Kerala. The number is likely to go up with the release of the updated figures within a couple of days.

Though the number of voters is increasing, a similar trend in the number of such voters who exercise their franchise is not seemingly satisfactory in the State. According to Social Justice Department sources, only six out of the 33 eligible voters cast their votes in the last Lok Sabha elections. They also point out that more efforts are needed to improve their turnout.

At the same time, some of the transgender activists from the city claim that the political party leaders’ “aversion” towards them has witnessed no change. No political parties have expressed their willingness to nominate a transgender person to contest the elections or assign them in the key role of campaigning, they complain.

“At the time of panchayat elections, we were totally sidelined. Even as a protest, we have no money or political support to contest independently,” says Cicily George, district secretary of the Democratic Transgenders Federation of Kerala (DTFK). “For our existence, we are now approaching all major fronts under the label of this federation and submitting the demands for consideration,” she adds.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 4:14:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/42-transgender-voters-enlisted-in-district/article34001076.ece

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