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Odisha:

The Bahujan Samaj Party has taken another step forward in the gender representation debate in electoral politics by fielding a transgender candidate in Odisha. This is the first time anybody who identify themselves outside the gender binary is contesting an election in the state.

Kajal Nayak, who will be contesting from Korei constituency in Jajpur district, will be the first politician to represent the transgender community if the people of Korei stand with her as she hopes. She is also the president of Transgender Association of Jajpur.

Odish Sun Times reports her saying that “I have been associated with the people from Jajpur area through social works for over a decade. Impressed by my works, I have been offered a party ticket by Krushna Chandra Sagaria (BSP Odisha chief) to contest from Korei.”

She aims to bring up the difficulties faced by her community members along with working to solving the issues in her constituency. The 28-year-old social worker looks up to BSP leader Mayawati as her role model. “I am thankful to BSP for showing their faith in me and in the transgender community,” she said. She has already started her election campaign in Korei.

BSP leader Krushna Chandr Sagaria said that the party believes in social empowerment of all communities. “We have decided to give ticket to Kajal Nayak because BSP believes in social empowerment of all communities. No one talks about transgenders, if we want their development we have to bring them in main stream,” said Sagaria.

The first ever transgender candidate to contest the Assembly elections in our country was Chandramukhi Muvvala, who was fielded by Bahujan Left Front in 2018 Telangana Assembly elections.

147 Assembly constituencies will go to polls in four phases this time, staring on April 11th and ending on 29th. The Lok Sabha elections from 21 seats across the state will be held simultaneously. In Jajpur district, elections will be held on the last day, April 29th. The election notification will be put out by April 2nd.

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