As Kerala riles up for the upcoming local body polls, many candidates have come forward, pledging their service to the people. However, two transgender candidates have come forward, throwing their names into the ring in a change of events. Sherin Antony had announced her candidature from division 26 of the Kochi Corporation, and Sneha K is a candidate of the Kizhunna of Kannur Corporation.
Sherin is the state president of the CPM-supported District Transgender Federation, but she chose to contest as an individual candidate. She had earlier alleged that while the CPM district leadership had promised her a ticket, they backed out at the last moment. She decided to fight back on her own, and the community backed her throughout. However, her nomination was rejected, citing technical issues, and Sherin alleged that it was deliberate. She explained that it was deliberately removed even though she had cast her vote in the last Lok Sabha polls.
This leaves Sneha K as the only transgender candidate in the fray. She joined the race as she felt that the elected officials had done nothing for their community. In fact, before the elections, the transgender community had requested the major alliances to set aside seats for them, but the plea fell on deaf ears, the community said. This led them to contest as individual candidates. While the community believes that they need one of theirs in a position of power, representing and uplifting them, they also add that their struggles have taught them to fight for others. Sneha has explained that she will be representing her electorate and will solve their problems.
Contesting using the symbol of an umbrella, she is adamant about representing her place of residence — Samajvadi colony. While the transgender community has come to help Sneha in her campaigning, she believes that she needs to make changes for the people in her colony. Moreover, speaking to a news channel, Sneha has alleged that the other political groups sometimes stop her from campaigning, claiming that “the votes belong to them.” The various outfits had also challenged her eligibility, citing her different names in her identity cards. This confusion was following her sex reassignment surgery a year back when she had changed her name. Following the challenges, Sneha was able to prove her identity and thwart the efforts to stop her.
While campaigning, Sneha makes sure to tell people that she will be standing for the people despite the results, fighting for their betterment as a whole. She believes that her struggles taught her to understand the sufferings of others. She is taking those lessons in her fight at the elections.