TN urban polls: Young, old, transgenders enter fray

The nominations for Tamil Nadu urban local body polls includes candidates from diverse backgrounds — tech-savvy youth, veteran social activists, nomads and transgenders.

The last date on filing nominations was Wednesday (February 9).

Kamakshi Subramaniyan (94) is contesting the elections from Besant Nagar in Chennai as an independent candidate and has been actively involved in the social firmament of the area. She was instrumental in supervising the road tarring and drainage work in the area and ensuring that the quality of work is not compromised by the contractors.

The nonagenarian, while speaking to IANS said, “I am always with the people of the area and I hope that they would support me by voting for me. However even if I don’t win, I will always be with the people and won’t allow any corrupt officials or contractors to get pass my eagle eye.”

Bharathi Kannan, a self-confessed nomad, has bicycled for 6,000 km through all the districts of the state. His motto is to create awareness among the people about the pressing environmental issues and fighting rampant consumerism.

He is contesting from Ward No 47 of Chennai Corporation. While speaking to IANS he said, “I am contesting the elections to be among the people and to help them understand better the rampant consumerism as well as the environmental degradation. I will make sure that the elected representatives are serious in their work and be full-time active for the people of the ward.”

Interestingly, youth are also not left behind. Preethi Vettrivel (23) is contesting as an independent candidate from Ward 132 of the Chennai corporation.

Preethi, a social activist, has been involved in all the pressing problems being faced by the people of the area. Preethi while speaking to IANS said, “Youth are more at ease on latest technologies and are more energetic. I have been working in tandem with the corporation during floods and the pandemic. The councillor acts as a bridge between the people and government and is a very crucial post.”

Another interesting factor that is being witnessed during the run-up to the Urban local body polls is the presence of transgender people in the elections. While transgender people had contested in the general election and the 2021 Assembly elections as independents, the mainstream political parties have given tickets to them in this local body poll.

Ganga Nayak, Secretary, South Indian Transgender community is contesting as a DMK candidate from Ward 37 of Vellore Municipal corporation. Jayadevi is an AIADMK candidate from Teynampett in Chennai corporation while Rajamma is a BJP candidate from the posh Tiru Vi Ka Nagar ward of Chennai corporation.

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