Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi will each face an opponent from the third gender. Sonam has filed her nomination from Amethi where she faces Rahul, Kumar Vishwas and Smriti Irani. In Varanasi, Bashir Kinnar alias Kamla Kinnar has filed her nomination as an independent against Modi and Arvind Kejriwal.
Sonam, 35, has previously worked as a Congress member in Rajasthan. “I was president of the Ajmer district Congress committee but when I met Rahulji for a ticket from Ajmer North during the 2008 Rajasthan assembly elections, he refused. That day I vowed to fight against Rahul some day,” she says.
She now supports the Samajwadi Party, which has not fielded anyone from Amethi. She has bought a house in Amethi and is also the head of transgenders in the district.
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Bashir, 50, has unsuccessfully contested assembly elections in 2007 and 2012. The Varanasi resident says, “Kejriwal ran away after winning in Delhi, he will run from Varanasi also. He is an agent of a foreign country.”
Bashir, whose affidavit has declared her profession as singing and dancing at auspicious ceremonies, says she has an advantage over her main rivals as she belongs to Varanasi and understands the city’s problems. She flaunts her secular credentials to counter Modi. “My name is Bashir alias Kamla. I visit temples, and also offer namaz. I seek votes from all religions,” she says.