Gay India, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender/Queer Pride parade
Participants attend the fourth Delhi Queer Pride parade, an event promoting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender. Madhu Bai Kinna was the first transgender person to be elected as mayor in India Reuters

A low-caste woman has become the first transgender person to be elected as mayor in India.

Madhu Bai Kinnar won the municipal election in Raigarh city, in the central state of Chhattisgarh, on Monday (5 January).

Kinnar, 35, beat her counterpart from the party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), by more than 4,500 votes, AFP reported.

"People have shown faith in me. I consider this win as love and blessings of people for me. I'll put in my best efforts to accomplish their dreams," Kinnar told reporters after winning the election.

Kinnar is part of the Dalit caste, who are traditionally referred to as the "untouchables" within India's rigid caste system.

The Dalits have been often persecuted in India, where they still face discrimination and segregation.

The untouchables are protected by the Indian government under the Prevention of Atrocities Act issued in 1995.

Kinnar's election comes a few months after India rule that "Hijras", a term used to indicate transgenders, could be legally recognised as gender-neutral.

Hijras are often persecuted in India and, like the Dalits, live at the margins of society.