Kolkata, April 5:
Consistent door-to-door surveys and contact with residents over the last three to four years has seen West Bengal’s North Dinajpur district clock in over 50 transgender voters in its electoral rolls for this year’s assembly polls — the highest in the state.
“Till January there were 50 and from January to March we registered two more members of the third gender. This is the highest in Bengal,” Pradip Kr. Das, officer-in-charge, election, North Dinajpur district, told IANS.
The district goes to the hustings in the second phase on April 17.
According to the Election Commission, Bengal has as many as 758 transgender voters. It is estimated around 30,000 members of the third gender live in Bengal.
In North Dinajpur, Das said out of nine assembly constituencies, Chopra has the maximum count of transgender voters at 18.
Das said to enlist as many transgenders as possible, officials of the district administration carried out intensive house-to-house surveys.
“We made sure no one was left out as we conducted these surveys. Over the last three to four years we have been consistent in our efforts. Still there are many who have enlisted as male or female,” Das said.
As for voter awareness campaigns, Das said no special drives were targeted towards the transgenders since it would have been discriminatory.
“We don’t want to differentiate so the awareness campaigns were uniform,” Das added. (IANS)