A little town in Wayanad district will probably go down in history as a place where a farmer who often walked barefoot beat the might of an incumbent MLA who is a media magnate.
CK Saseendran, popularly known as Sasiyettan (Sasi-older brother), is a milkman in Kalpetta town who locals say has dedicated his life to social service.
His opponent, incumbent MLA Sreyams Kumar had been elected from Kalpetta for the past two terms. His family owns Mathrubhumi newspaper and has a tea estate in the area.
Sreyams won with a majority of more than 18,000 in 2011, but even though Saseendran’s victory margin is lower, with a majority of 13,000 the latter put up a big fight.
An arts graduate who studied political science, Saseendran was actively engaged with student politics in the state.
Today, Saseendran begins his duties as the head of the district unit of the CPI(M), after finishing his morning round of delivering milk.
The three-time district secretary owns a 1.3 acre farm in area and is quite popular among the locals. He would often be seen walking about the town barefoot and meeting people in tea shops. It was because he involved himself in the problems of the people that the CPI(M) fielded him this time.
Saseendran was a known face among the people of Kalpetta, especially in the tribal hamlets as he was available to people at any time for help.
Sreyams Kumar however, was perceived to be hostile to the people. Allegations of mistreatment of workers did not help.
The result? Saseendran won.