Bharathi Kannama Trust has written to the District Collector requesting the Election commission (EC) to change the Lok Sabha poll dates in the state in the wake of Koovagam Koothandavar, a 3-day long festival of transgenders.
Speaking to ANI, Bharathi Kannama, a transgender activist, said the transgender community would not be able to vote in the forthcoming parliamentary election due to the Koovagam Koothandavar festival.
The representatives of the transgender community in Madurai pleaded to the District Collector S Natarajan in a letter, demanding the rescheduling of the Lok Sabha elections, which will be held on April 18 in a single phase.
"We cannot accept the dates for two reasons. First, a huge number of people throng Madurai to witness the Chithirai festival. So, pilgrims attending it will not be able to cast votes. Secondly, transgenders from across the country will attend a 3-day long transgender festival in Viluppuram district from April 15-17. This will surely affect voter turnout. Nearly 6.5 lakh transgenders will take part in this festival. All of their representation will be neglected. I appeal to the Election Commission to reconsider the other date," said Bharathi.
On March 12, an all-party delegation demanded the postponement of Lok Sabha election in Tamil Nadu, in view of its clash with Chithirai festival from April 8 to 22 in the state.
On March 14, Tamil Nadu Bishops' Council wrote a letter to the state Election Commission urging them to changes the polling date which will coincide with Maundy Thursday, stating that it would not be conducive for the people of the Christian community.
Earlier, some leaders had also raised objections over the clash of the ensuing Lok Sabha elections with the holy month of Ramzan.
The Election Commission had announced the schedule for Lok Sabha elections. The dates for the seven phases are April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. Counting of votes will be done on May 23.
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