Kerala

When campaigning and work go hand in hand

M.K. Sibu climbing a coconut tree at Vadakumkara Kshethram in Chennnam Pallippuram grama panchayat, Alappuzha.   | Photo Credit: ..

For many, becoming a candidate and engaging in electioneering means a break from their profession.

But, M.K. Sibu, a candidate in the Vadakumkara Kshethram ward (Ward 8) of the Chennam-Pallippuram grama panchayat, is using his vocation as a coconut plucker to solicit votes. With only a few days left for the local body polls, the 48-year-old is mixing coconut-plucking and campaigning to good effect.

He says that the election campaign and work can go hand in hand. “I have been a coconut plucker for the past 30 years. It is my bread and butter. I never paused doing my work. After deciding to contest the elections, I stopped working outside in order to concentrate more on the Vadakumkara Kshetram ward. As usual, I am visiting houses and farmlands in the ward and plucking coconuts. After completing the job and receiving the wages, these days I make an additional request of seeking votes from the family members,” says Mr. Sibu, who had twice won the grama panchayat election on the Communist Party of India (Marxist) ticket.

Four hours

He is, however, contesting as an Independent candidate this time after the party denied him the ticket. He does the tree climbing-cum-election campaign for around four hours in the mornings.

“These days my job as coconut tree climber is serving two purposes — earning livelihood and electioneering. The role of a politician is to serve the people of the community, but it doesn’t mean you should not do any other work. Everyone should earn their own living,” he says.

Mr. Sibu was elected twice from the Vadakumkara Kshethram ward, a red bastion, in 2005 and 2010 with a thumping majority. With the party not on his side this time, he is facing an uphill task.

The CPI(M) has fielded Sudheesh T.S. from the seat. Two other candidates — Biju of the Congress and P.V. Viswambaran, an Independent — are also seeking people’s mandate from the ward.

Mr. Sibu, however, exudes confidence of winning the election, albeit with a smaller majority.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 10:46:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/when-campaigning-and-work-go-hand-in-hand/article33243629.ece

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