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Tamil Nadu Transwoman & DMK Candidate Scripts History, Wins Local Body Poll in Tiruchengode

30-year-old Riya won in the Nammakal district's Tiruchengode town with a margin of 950 votes. A member of the DMK since 2017, Riya attributed her victory to party chief MK Stalin.

Poornima Murali | CNN-News18

Updated:January 2, 2020, 7:11 PM IST
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Tamil Nadu Transwoman & DMK Candidate Scripts History, Wins Local Body Poll in Tiruchengode
File photo of Riya, the DMK candidate who won in Tiruchengode panchayat town.

For the first time in the history of the local body polls in Tamil Nadu, a transwoman representing the opposition DMK party won the Union councillor post. 30-year-old Riya won in the Nammakal district's Tiruchengode town with a margin of 950 votes. A member of the DMK since 2017, Riya attributed her victory to party chief MK Stalin.

“I dedicate the victory to Thalapathy Stalin. I will seek the blessings of Kalaignar (late stalwart of the party M Karunanidhi) at Anna Samadhi and seek thalapathy’s blessings before taking up my new role. The victory is not just mine but for the entire backward community of transgenders. I thank the people of Tiruchengode panchayat ward and my ward-in-charge,” she told News 18.

Riya won 2701 votes while her contender, AIADMK’s Kandammal won 1751 votes. The Karuveppampatty Panchayat union is reserved for Scheduled Caste women.

For Riya, serving people has been a life-long desire, one that even drove her into politics.

“My first job is to tackle the water crisis. Our village acute water problems and I will take all steps to resolve this. I will also work towards ensuring better roads and infrastructure for our village,” she said. Riya said that she will fight to ensure that her ward gets the required funds from the central government necessary for development.

This is not the first time she has been in the thick of politics. She had earlier campaigned for DMK MP K Kanimozhi during the Lok Sabha polls.

“My role model is Kanimozhi. She has motivated me to contest the local body polls. As a woman, she has achieved a lot in the political front and has been an inspiration for many women like me. She called me and congratulated me today after I won,” Riya said.

After securing a victory, Riya plans to visit MK Stalin in Chennai in the coming days.

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