Transwoman to manage transgender poll booth in Bengal

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Kolkata, April 29 (IANS) India’s first “transgender polling booth” in the eastern metropolis will be managed by a transwoman presiding officer during the fifth phase of polls in West Bengal on Saturday, officials said.

“Riya Sarkar, a transwoman, has been made the presiding officer at the booth in Calcutta International High School in Rashbehari assembly constituency. This is the first time that in an election a transgender booth is being set up,” Smita Pandey, district election officer, Kolkata South, told IANS on Friday.

In South 24-Parganas, Kolkata and Hooghly, polling will be held in 53 constituencies on Saturday in the penultimate phase of the polls.

Pandey, however, lamented more third gender members could not be deployed.

“We could not get more as according to the mandate one has to be in government service. Sarkar is a school teacher. We are calling it a TG booth because it is being presided by a transgender. All other polling officials in the booth are women,” she said.

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