Battle for UP: Transgender to contest Agra Cantt seat

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A 26-year-old transgender, Radhika Bai, is all set to contest the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls as an Independent from the reserve Agra Cantt constituency.

Her candidature was approved on Monday.

Radhika, whose real name is Akash Soni, will be the first transgender to contest an Assembly election in the Agra district.

She has launched a door-to-door campaign with the support of her community members.

Radhika said she entered the poll fray after getting the blessings of her Prayagraj-based guru Bhavani Devi to serve the needy.

“I have to prove that transgenders can be successful in politics and can successfully address peoples’ issues. I will work for making education affordable by strengthening the network of government schools for the common man. I was born and brought up here, so I am requesting people to give me a chance because I want to do a lot for them,” said Radhika.

She further said that “I believe politics will also provide me with an opportunity to work for the welfare of the kinnar community.”

It may be recalled that in 2000, a transgender, Asha Devi, had hogged the headlines after being elected as the Mayor of Gorakhpur Municipal Corporation.

Her election had given a major jolt to political parties.

Before that, in 1998, transgender Shabnam Mausi was elected to the Madhya Pradesh state Assembly. She was the first transgender to be elected as a public representative.

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