The Mangalgiri assembly constituency is a high-profile constituency with chief minister Chandrababu Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh contesting his first direct election. Now the entry of a candidate belonging to the third gender, Tamannah, has added to the interest quotient in this battleground constituency.
Hyderabad-based actor and activist Tamannah says she zeroed in on Mangalgiri because she is against dynasty rule and since Lokesh was contesting from here, she decided to file her nomination. She says she is against use of money power in elections as well. With about 50000 transgenders in Andhra Pradesh, Tamannah is expecting support.
Last week, in Madurai constituency, 58-year-old Bharathi Kannamma also filed her nomination papers. She worked on the optics, dressing up as Goddess Meenakshi in this temple town. For added effect and to drive home a point, she was accompanied by two transgender activists, one dressed as a Muslim and the other as a Christian.
“I am against discrimination of any sort, especially caste and religion,” said Bharathi. Her ideas are also utopian as she also promises to campaign against hoarding of wealth so that if excess wealth is sent into the public exchequer, there will be more funds to be spent on social welfare schemes.
Bharathi had contested unsuccessfully in the 2014 Parliament elections as well.
A transgender candidate Chandramukhi had filed her nomination papers as a candidate in the Goshamahal assembly constituency in Hyderabad in the Telangana elections in November last year. But within a few hours, she went missing, creating quite a stir in political and social circles. Her mother filed a writ petition in the High court in Hyderabad. She was subsequently traced but little was known about where she had been for close to 48 hours. Her activist friends had alleged that political elements were behind her mysterious disappearance.