Himachal Pradesh: Number of Trans voters rises to more than two folds in state as compared to 2017 Assembly elections
Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India], November 17 (ANI): The number of voters in the third gender category has seen an increase in the State assembly elections 2022, as compared to the 2017 Vidhan Sabha and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, officials said on Thursday.
“This became possible due to the efforts of the State election department under the guidance of the Election Commission of India (ECI) to attract more transgender community by including them in election awareness campaigns and encouraging them to exercise their right to franchise,” Maneesh Garg, Chief Electoral Officer said.
As compared to the Assembly elections in 2017, the state elections in 2022 have seen an increase in voter turnout of transgender. It was in the year 2017 when transgender was included as a separate category of the third gender in electoral rolls. The total count of the third gender in the 2017 Assembly elections was 14 out of which only 2 i.e. 14 per cent exercised their right to franchise. Similarly in the Lok Sabha elections 2019, only 34 per cent of the registered third-gender voters cast their vote.
The Chief Electoral Officer said that in 2022, the registration of transgender in electoral rolls was as poor as 17 as per the final publication on 15th January 2022. It was due to the initiatives of the Election Commission of India and the State Election Department that the enrolment of transgender more than doubled to 37 as per the final publication of electoral rolls on 10th October 2022 and the count went up further by another addition taking the tally of third gender voters to 38 as of now.
“The Election Commission will take “stronger” initiatives for senior citizens, PwD voters and transgender persons to ensure that they are included in the electoral process with all due respect as deserved by them, said CEC Rajiv Kumar, on his recent visit to the State. CEO also stated that the Election Commission had felicitated the members of the transgender community at a model polling station at Dharampur during their visit to the State, which increased their visibility and encouraged them to come out and not only register themselves but also cast their votes in greater numbers,” Maneesh Garg said, adding that efforts were made to make them understand that being recognized as the third gender, opens avenues for them to participate in the electoral democratic process without any social taboo or fear.
Further, interventions were made to motivate and bring in attitudinal change amongst third gender electors to come out and vote in a fearless manner like any other elector does, said CEO.
As a result, 26 out of 38 trans genders i.e., 68 per cent cast their vote in the 2022 Assembly elections in the State, which is exactly double their participation in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Bijali Mahant, a transgender has also been made a ‘District icon’ of Bilaspur district and all efforts were being made to appoint members of the transgender community as State and district election icons in the State. (ANI)
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Courtesy : The Print
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