Varanasi: BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has a new rival in the temple town - a transgender.
Kamla, who is in her sixties, on Monday announced her decision to fight from the prime constituency as an Independent candidate.
"Arvind Kejriwal bears the blemish of running away from Delhi governance and the spectre of 2002 Gujarat riots is still dogging the image of Modi, but I have a spotless image," Kamala said and asked Varanasi voters to support her.
"Benares is the city of Lord Shiva, who had also assumed the `ardhnarishwara` form (a composite form of Lord Shiva and his wife Goddess Parvati). And, according to `Shahstra` and `Puranas`, `kinnar` (transgender) community is called `ardhnirshwar`. So, please support me and vote for me," Kamla said.
"I am a `kinner`, so I have no family. In the last 60-odd years after Independence, either a man or a woman has ruled the country and generated scams after scams.
"If people support me, the third gender in this battle, then they will get a dynasty-free leader and set a new precedent for the betterment of the country," Kamla said.
The new candidate, who is the head of all the transgenders in Poorvanchal area, said her community always offered blessings to people on happy occasions and now it was the time for the people to reciprocate with their votes. Kamla`s election organiser Vikram Bhardwaj told PTI that by April 10, about 20,000 transgender from different parts of India will be gathering in Varanasi in support of Kamla.
"If the Election Commission allows, we will take a padyatra (door-to-door campaign) in the city asking people to drop their votes in their "jholi" (bags). Bhardwaj alleged "many influential parties had tried to buy Kamla after their efforts to stop her from entering the fray went in vain."
A conference involving eunuchs from various states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh was held earlier in Gorakhpur and we then took the decision to name Kamla for the "Battle for Benares", despite lakhs of rupees being offered for the withdrawal of her candidature, Bhardwaj said.