Meet Pondicherry's youngest candidate

I will focus more on education, health sectors, says Anand.

Puducherry: Five years ago, when he was just 21, law graduate A. Anand was thrust into spotlight after he headed an agitation against exam fraud that led to the dismissal of the then education minister P.M.L. Kalyanasundaram.

Today, the SFI activist is the latest sensation in Puducherry politics with CPI (M) fielding him from Lawspet Assembly constituency, the youngest candidate ever to enter the electoral fray in the Union Territory.

Students and those below 30 entering politics might be a common feature in Left-dominated states like Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura, but only on rare occasions do youth jump into electoral politics when they are still pursuing studies in places like Puducherry, where the Left is almost a non-player in mainstream politics.

“CPI (M) is the only party which encourages youngsters to join politics. It is also the only party that transforms young people into student leaders,” Anand, Member of the Central Executive Committee of SFI, told Deccan Chronicle during his busy campaigning.

Activism and raising voice against injustice is not new to this 26-year-old candidate of the People’s Welfare Alliance as he has been a member of SFI since his school days.

“The SFI has organised protests against fee hike and privatisation of education sector which made it the only outfit that students can bank upon,” he said.
Anand, who resides in Lawspet area, says his desire to jump into the electoral fray stemmed from problems that his area has been facing for the past few years.

“Be it Congress or NR Congress, the constituency has remained undeveloped. People are looking for an alternative leader. Given a chance, I will focus more on sectors like education, health and overall employment,” he said.

Admitting that he has no political experience beyond student activism, Anand exudes confidence he would prove his mettle as a politician as well and appeals to people not to “doubt my leadership quality.” Being a student himself, Anand is eyeing on the student community and youngsters to romp home from this
constituency where he is pitted against Congress strongman V. Sivakozhunthu and NR Congress’ Nanda T. Saravanan.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story