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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Expressing their interest to contest in the upcoming general elections to the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), transgenders on Monday demanded five percent reservation of seats for them.

Claiming that they have already proved their mettle in other sectors of society, transgenders under the aegis of All Odisha Kinnar and Third Gender Mahasangha have demanded that they should be allowed 5 per cent quota while contesting the ULB polls.

Sources said around 15,000 transgenders will stage demonstration in front of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's residence if their demands are not met within 10 to 15 days.

"We will definitely gherao Naveen Niwas within March 15 as the notification for the ULB polls of the State government will be published prior to that," said Pratap Sahoo, president of All Odisha Kinnar and Third Gender Mahasangha during a press conference organised by TG Suraksha Trust at Nehru Yuva Pratisthan here in the city.

"Being a transgender if I can become Mayor in Chhattisgarh then why cannot in Odisha. Why can't we step forward today? Transgenders are recognised in other States nowadays therefore they should also be recognised here in Odisha," said Madhu Kinnar, Mayor of Raigarh Municipal Corporation, Chhattisgarh.

The State Election Commission has already asked the Odisha government to divide the Municipal Areas into wards and to reserve seats for Schedule Caste (SC), Schedule Tribe (ST), Backward Classes (BC) communities and women.

Following it the Housing and Urban Development (H&UD) department in January this year instructed all the District Magistrates and Collectors to complete delimitation of wards and reservation of seats for the ULB polls by April 30, 2018.

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