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AAP to launch LGBTIAQ cell in Pune to address issues faced by community

Mukund Kirdat, Pune district head of AAP, said the decision to form the body was taken after the party decided to contest the upcoming civic polls.

Night shelters, jobs, access to education as well as awareness about their rights are some of the issues which the party wants to work on. (File photo)

Ahead of the corporation election, the Pune wing of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has decided to launch its LGBTIAQ cell. Mukund Kirdat, Pune district head of the party, said the decision is in line with the party’s ideology towards equality and upholding constitutional values.

Since the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Section 377, political parties across the spectrum have formed cells dedicated to sexual minorities. States have also set up transgender welfare boards with separate funds to work towards issues. The Maharashtra government has allocated Rs 5 crore for the board.

Kirdat said the decision to form the body was taken after the party decided to contest the upcoming civic polls. “We are a new party here and the cells of various organisations to represent all sections of society are now being formed,” he said. The cell, he said, would help in inclusion of issues of the community in their manifesto. “During the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown, the community faced hardships. None of the parties went ahead to find holistic solutions for the community,” he said.

Night shelters, jobs, access to education as well as awareness about their rights are some of the issues which the party wants to work on. During the Delhi and Uttar Pradesh local body elections, AAP had fielded transgender candidates also. “Our manifesto would include promise to construct separate toilets for transgender individuals in public spaces like Swargate Bus Stand or the Pune Railway Station. Another issue which we want to work on is to allow them to rent out public spaces for their community programmes,” he said.

Asked how the AAP’s cell would be different from other political parties, Kirdat said their party believes in action. “It is a welcome move that different political parties have formed cells to provide representations to the community but in most cases, it is just tokenism,” he said.

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