Transwoman first wins court battle, then the electoral one
Anjali Patil of Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA), has won the local body election in Bhadli Budruk village of Maharashtra’s Jalgaon district.
After fighting and winning the battle to execute her right to contest an election as a woman, Anjali Patil of Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA), has won the local body election in Bhadli Budruk village of Maharashtra’s Jalgaon district. A transwoman, Patil’s candidacy was questioned and rejected, as she had applied from the category reserved for women. She approached the court seeking her right to contest the election, and after receiving a green signal from the court, contested and won the election.
“The Election Commission stopped me from contesting elections from ward no. 4 in the village, which is reserved for women, as my gender was under the ‘other’ category. But when all my documents state that I am a woman, I was appalled why I couldn’t contest an election as a woman. The Aurangabad Bench of Bombay High Court gave a verdict in my favour, and I not only contested, but won the election,” Patil tells Indie Journal, as she shares her resolve to work hard for the betterment of the village that believed in her.
“It was the village women who encouraged me to contest the elections. I don’t have much experience in politics. I had contested the Gram Panchayat election five years ago, but had lost back then, But I was born and brought up in this village. I know these people and their problems. I was well-acquainted with the issues here,” Patil says.
There are several problems in the village that need to be looked into immediately, and the newly elected member of Gram Panchayat intends to try and resolve them one by one. She adds, “In our village, we have an ongoing crisis of clean water availability, we don’t have adequate electricity connections. Several houses still don’t have toilets, and we also need a better drainage system as well as better roads. I have a lot to learn, and I will be studying each of these issues carefully before I take any action.”
Talking about her journey of contesting and winning the election, Patil expressed, “Struggle is not new to us. It starts at home itself, and public acceptance is another story in itself. When I approached people while campaigning, I said to them that I am a good person. I care about the village, and asked for a chance to be elected just like any other person. They showed trust in me. Now I will give this work my 100 percent.”