Jaick knows he has no political experience beyond student activism

Meet Jaick Thomas the political newbie whos taking on 10-time MLA Oommen Chandy
news Monday, March 21, 2016 - 20:02

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) is fielding a 26-year-old political greenhorn against Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in Puthupally, a seat that he has won 10 times.

Contrary to popular perception, Jaick C Thomas says that the CPI(M) was not afraid to promote young blood.  

“CPI (M) is not a grey-haired party. CPI(M) plays a relevant role in politicising a major group of youngsters. Which other political party has backed and organized such a large group of youngsters and students? It is only our party which promotes youngsters and student leaders,” he said.

Still a post-graduate student, Jaick knows he has no political experience beyond student activism, but is confident that Chandy’s “false promises” and accusations of corruption will work against the incumbent CM.

“My experience is with student politics. I have reached out to the public to the extent of an SFI leader. But I have not yet started working among the public as a politician. So I may not be popular among all the voters, but I will be able to take the heat,” he said.

“For a student, opposing college management and authorities are a big challenge, there is fear that academics would suffer. But we have faced that successfully. It’s from the SFI that I derive the strength to face any hurdle. Campus life too has enhanced my confidence,” he added.

Leaders such as Thomas Isaac in Alappuzha and P Raveendranath in Puthukad had done a lot for the constituencies they were elected from, but Chandy has failed to develop the constituency in the last 45 years, according to Jaick.

“My constituency is way behind taking into consideration all social indicators. Puthupally needs an alternative leader. I will focus more on development in education, health and employment in Puthupally,” he said.

Chandy’s political career – he has been an MLA for 45 years – is close to double Jaick’s age, but the young man is unfazed.

“There is a difference this time. This year, Oommen Chandy will stand in front of his voters, probably as one of the most tainted Chief Ministers of Kerala. The voters here can now see through his fake smile,” Jaick says.

Here's an interesting tidbit: Chandy too was 26 when he took on the CPI(M) veteran EM George in 1970 and won. If history decides to repeat itself, then it may well spell the end of Chandy's long political innings in his home constituency at least.

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