India: EC ropes in Manipur LGBT model as State Icon

Transgender model and actress from Manipur Bishesh Huirem has been engaged as “State Icon” by the Election Commission (EC) to inspire voters in Manipur to participate in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls while Mumbai social worker Shree Gauri Sawant, another transgender appointed as ‘election ambassador’ by the EC. For its part, the Punjab district electoral office also appointed a transgender Preeti Mahant  as the district icon to create awareness activities under the Systematic Voter Education and Electoral Participation Programme (SVEEP).

In another development, transgender leader Rajni Rawat who contested Mayor election of Dehradun as an Aam Admi Party (AAP) candidate  last year has been barred from contesting Lok Sabha polls as she had failed to submit election expenditure of 2017 assembly polls in Uttrakhand.

According to EC, Bishesh represented India at the Miss International Queen in Thailand in 2016, has been appointed as one of the “state icons” to motivate the masses, particularly transgender, to participate in the Lok Sabha elections.

Bishesh is the first transgender celebrity in the country to be appointed as a state icon for the parliamentary polls. A graduate in fashion and apparel designing from Bangalore University, she is one of the highest-paid artistes in Manipuri films and mobile theatres. Read more via the Pioneer