Bengaluru: Transgender activist and LGBTQ community representative Akkai Padmashali has joined the Karnataka unit of the Congress on Sunday.

Party spokesman Rajeev Gowda stated that "Padmashali is the first transgender to join the Congress in the southern state from the sexual minority community in the presence of party's women members and cadres".

Welcoming Akkai to the party, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president DK Shivakumar said the activist would be considered a mainstream member and not just a LGBTQ representative.

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The KPCC President stated "Akkai Padmashali is an asset not just to Karnataka Congress but a national asset. She will be a mainstream leader for the party. Only those who work closely with people can be called leaders according to me, not those who have a position and a following”

About 50 people from the community were also present at the party office when Akkai Padmashali was inducted into the Congress.

Speaking to the media Akkai said "I have joined the national party after consulting several members of my community, which has benefited from the Congress since Indira Gandhi was its president and the prime minister"

According to Akkai Padmashali, the community benefited a lot from Indira Gandhi who made train travel free for transgenders, ensured free food and provided shelter for them.