Free Press Journal

BMC elections: Poor turnout among transgenders in Mumbai


Priya Patil was the only transgender candidate in fray, but none of the four from her lot voted. She got 27 votes in Kurla West constituency.

Mumbai: Out of the 381 transgenders registered in the recent Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections, 127 voted from different wards across the city. The transgender turnout was less than 50 percent despite having their first candidate, Priya Patil, who contested as an independent candidate from Kurla (west).

There were four registered transgender voters in this area but none cast their vote. The total voter turnout in Kurla (west) was 21,526 and Patil managed to win only 27 votes. Sadly, not a single vote was of transgenders.

The highest transgender voter turnout was from areas like Matunga (east), Sion, Wadala, GTB Nagar and Antop Hill. Also, 119 was the highest number of transgender voters registered and were from areas like Malad, Malvani and Madh Island. Only 22 transgenders cast their vote from this area.

Patil told the Free Press Journal, “Though a majority of the members from my community were aware about the civic polls this time, a high number of them did not turn up. But why blame them? This happens as citizens do not consider voting as an important duty, we cannot blame only transgenders.”

Patil lost her seat to Sanjay Turde from the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in her area.

Considering the poor turnout of the transgender community Patil added, “I am happy that at least I got a representation and could prove that we too are formidable. I got an opportunity to create awareness about my community. Citizens are now at least aware that we exist and are an integral part of this society. I am hopeful that the transgender voter turnout will increase in the next elections.”