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40 differently-abled persons contesting rural local body polls in Tamil Nadu

- September 28, 2021

Chennai, Sept 28 (BPNS)

40 people who are differently-abled will be contesting the rural local body polls in Tamil Nadu to be held on October 6 and October 9. This includes a father, daughter duo also.

Kavitha. A of Navammal Kapperi Village in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu wanted to contest the rural local body polls in 2011 and when she went to file the nominations for the local body polls, her nomination was rejected. The reason was that she was having speech and hearing impairment and according to Subsection 3 of  Section 33 in Tamil Nadu Panchayath Act 1994, people with speech and hearing impairment were not able to contest rural local body polls.

The rejection of her nomination led to state-wide protests and people sieged the Tamil Nadu state election commission office following which an amendment was brought to the act on November 15,2012.

The amendment removed the clause “deaf, mute and persons affected with leprosy “ from Subsection 3 of section 33  and published it in the government gazette.

Kavitha is now contesting the elections from ward 3 of  Navammal Kapperi village and her father Thangarasu who is also a differently-abled person will be contesting from ward 4 in the panchayath.

Thangarasu while speaking to BPNS said, “It is a great moment. We are not certain whether we will win but contesting in itself is half won as it has given us our genuine right to contest the polls”.

There are around 40 disabled people contesting the elections in the Tamil Nadu rural local body elections and most of them are from Villupuram, Chengalpattu, and Kancheepuram districts of the state.

With the differently-abled persons also entering the fray after a long fight for justice, the election would throw open more openings in the democratic process.