Asserting that "hijras" can do a better job than others in Parliament, transgender Sonam Kinnar has entered the poll fray against sitting MP and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi from Amethi in what the spirited debutant terms the emergence of the 'third front' in Indian politics.
Sonam filed nomination as an Independent candidate on April 15, the day when Supreme Court in a landmark judgement gave recognition to transgenders as the third gender, paving the way for them to access healthcare and jobs, among others.
"Like they have reservation for SC/ST and women, we would like to have two seats reserved in the Lok Sabha and two at least in the state assemblies...Our (transgenders) time has come and the third front will do a good job," Sonam said. The 'third-gender' nominee has joined the ranks of Smriti Irani of BJP and Aam Aadmi Party candidate Kumar Vishwas who are attempting to break into the Congress stronghold by defeating the Gandhi scion. "I am taking on Rahul Gandhi of Congress here and want to do good work for Amethi... We do not have any family, we never discriminate against anyone. We can do a better job," Sonam said.
A resident of this district, Sonam has declared bank deposit of Rs 11.39 lakh and 25 "tola" gold among assets in the affidavit before the district election commission officer.
Transgender Kamla, head of the community in eastern Uttar Pradesh (Poorvanchal), is planning to take on Modi in Varanasi and will file nomination on Saturday in the temple town. "After Varanasi, now we have also announced our arrival in Amethi. Our sister Sonam has already filed her nominations few days ago and I will be doing the same in Benares with people from all three genders marching alongside me in my support," said Kamla, in her sixties.
Emboldened by the "winds of change", Kamla said, the community is also considering fielding candidates in Deoria and Gorakhpur seats. On preparations for the nomination day tomorrow, Kamla said, "There will be a kinner rath and men, women and transgenders all will march from the Chowka Ghat to Kutchehri alongside me.
"We want to send a message to people that we are not weak and we have been blessing people on all festive occasions, now is the time they reciprocated and blessed us back."