Around 50 members from transgender community took the membership of the Bharatiya Janata Party yesterday in Vadodara along with the Prince of Rajpipla Manvendra Sinh Gohil. Prince Gohil is one of the first royals to have openly come out as gay. Vadodara BJP President Dr. Vijay Shah conferred the party membership the 50 transgenders. They will be included in the Page Committee of the party that interacts with voters at booth levels.
Prince Gohil praised the BJP for working for the transgender community
Acknowledging the work done by the BJP for the transgender community, Prince Gohil said that it was because of this that the transgenders were joining the party. He also highlighted that the Supreme Court decision decriminalising homosexuality was pronounced while the BJP was in power at the Centre. He credited the BJP for the passing of the Transgender Bill in the Parliament. Prince Gohil told that a shelter home was built for transgenders in Vadodara during the BJP government. Taking dig at the Congress party, Prince Gohil said that the transgenders got their rights under the BJP government and not under the rule of the Congress, therefore, they joined the BJP.
Transgenders’ issues would not be addressed unless they became part of the mainstream
Praising Dr. Shah, Prince Gohil said that he always showed enthusiasm in addressing the concerns of the transgender community whenever the community approached him. He even suggested that the party starts a transgender wing.
Gohil, who runs a trust named Lakshya for the LGBTQ community, said that transgenders had the right to fight elections and that political parties should give them tickets. “Our trust for the LGBTQ community-Lakshya-facilitated this membership drive within the community for the BJP. We have realised that unless we become part of the mainstream, the issues facing transgenders will not be recognised or addressed”, he said adding that the community hoped to see some transgender candidates being fielded in the upcoming civil body polls.
Polls for civic bodies of Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar will be held on February 21. The counting of the votes will take place on February 23. On February 28, elections for 31 Zila Panchayats, 231 Tehsil Panchayats and 81 Nagarpalikas will be held followed by the counting of votes on March 2.