Kolkata: They could have become the first transgenders from West Bengal to contest the assembly polls, but faced with "threats of dire consequences" from "Trinamool goons", Lok Janshakti Party's (LJP) Bobby Halder and Sankari Mondal have decided not to file their nominations, the LJP state unit said on Thursday.
Halder, 39, was to contest from Bhowanipore, which has Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the fray. Mondal was slated to contest from Jadavpur, taking on the might of former Marxist MP Sujon Chakraborty and Trinamool's state minister Manish Gupta.
However, both Halder and Mondal have not been able to file their nomination papers.
"Fielding transgenders was a historic decision by the LJP, but that has been defeated by the terror tactics of the Trinamool. Ever since their candidature was announced, both were constantly threatened, humiliated and intimidated by Trinamool goons," LJP state president Mira Chakraborty told IANS.
Mira said repeated efforts to find proposers for both the candidates went in vain.
"Such has been the terror, that nobody dared to come up as a proposer for their nominations. Both Halder and Mondal were threatened with being thrown out of their community. They could not withstand all these intimidations and decided against contesting the polls," added Chakraborty.
Even as he refused to comment on the issue, Halder said, "I wanted to contest the polls."
The LJP said it will be moving the Election Commission on the issue.
The last date for filing the nominations both for Jadavpur and Bhowanipore was 11 April.
Inspired by Manabi Bandopadhyay, India's first openly transgender college principal who took over the reins of the Krishnagar Women's College in Nadia district last year, both Halder and Mondal aspired to work for the welfare of the "most marginalised" transgender community.