GUWAHATI: Along with the rest of the country, Assam is set to take a major leap towards gender equality. Come the Lok Sabha poll in April this year, the State will see as many as 503 third gender voters exercising their franchise with the other two genders – males and females.
In a landmark decision in the National Legal Services Authority versus Union of India case, the Supreme Court of India declared transgender people to be a ‘third gender’ and affirmed that the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India would be equally applicable to transgender people, and gave them the right to self-identification of their gender as male, female or third-gender. With this, the third gender is now not just a concept, but a social entity.
According to State Election Department sources, 503 of the total 2,17,60,604 voters in the State are third genders. While 158 of the 503 third gender voters are to cast their votes in the first phase of the Parliamentary election slated for April 11, as many as 181 are to cast votes in the second phase of the poll slated for April 18 and 164 in the third phase on April 23 this year.
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