Bellari: Congress leaders sprang a surprise by fielding, Praveen Banu, 35, a transgender, as their nominee for urban local body polls in Bellary on Saturday. Praveen Banu, who has entered the fray in ward number four in the mining city, was accompanied by Rajya Sabha member Anil Lad, president of the city unit of Congress, Anjaneyalu, and other local leaders while submitting nomination papers at the city corporation office on Saturday.
It was not a smooth affair for Praveen Banu while submitting nomination papers. Banu had to spend few anxious moments when it was noticed that the candidate’s name was “deleted” from the revised voters list. But, the officials concerned realized that it was a clerical error and allowed the candidate to hand in the papers.
Emerging from the returning officer’s chamber, Praveen Banu told media persons “I did not expect it,” when asked about the opportunity provided by the party to contest the urban local body elections. “Transgenders are a part of society, but the society shows no concern for us,” remarked Banu. Citing examples of transgenders contesting polls, Banu said they have won elections in New Delhi and Mumbai. Mr Anil Lad said, “Banu has been serving the Congress party for about two decades, and was noticed by senior leaders of the party during a march undertaken recently in various wards of the city. Praveen Banu is the household name among 2,000 families.”
Banu, who owns a petty shop, kicked off the campaign after submitting the papers.