Jenifar J Russel, 38, spent years working in the corporate sector before quitting to pursue a different career path.

Swiggy delivery executive among candidates contesting from Bengaluru Central
news Lok Sabha 2019 Friday, April 12, 2019 - 16:49

More than 20 candidates are contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Bengaluru Central, and among them is Jenifar J Russel, an independent candidate currently working as a Swiggy food delivery executive.

Since 2013, 38-year-old Jenifar, an engineering graduate who hails from Thiruvananthapuram, says he has nurtured the idea of joining politics. Though he spent years working in the corporate sector, he ultimately left that career behind to pursue a different path.

“I took a break in my career and worked low-profile jobs with less salary. This included working as a traffic police warden in Kerala Police for a few months in 2015,” he says. He also worked as a deputy manager for a private company in 2016.

“Since November, I have been working as a cab driver to travel across Bengaluru. I could understand the problems of the common man, like a driver.  Earlier I used to make fun of Swacch Bharat and other such schemes. But then I realised how we need it so much. We require many more toilets and where we have toilets, we need to maintain them in a better way,” he told TNM.

“I wanted to understand the problems better, so I switched to Swiggy. It's a better way to reach people, especially youngsters,” he said, adding that he has met thousands of people since taking the job.

Jenifar says he has never aligned with any one political party, says he advocates for the cause of common people, like him, to root out corruption in politics.

“People say that you need a crore of rupees to do campaigning but when I left my job there was only Rs 1,20,000. Now I have done 200 days of campaigning and spent around Rs 31,000. I want to inspire more people to contest elections in the coming days for local and state polls. I want honest people to join politics,” he says.

Jenifar began his one-man campaign in November 2018. He handed out his list of promises to every voter he met, including his cab and food delivery customers.

“When I meet people one to one, in each area the requirements were different. So I used to answer to the public based on the questions they ask and I used to explain my solutions,” he says.

The prominent candidates in the constituency include incumbent MP PC Mohan of the BJP, Congress-JD(S) alliance candidate Rizwan Arshad and popular multilingual actor Prakash Raj who is contesting as an independent. Despite his limited reach, Jenifar says, “It’s a four-way fight between PC Mohan, Prakash Raj, Rizwan Arshad and me. I believe in god and anything can happen.”

 

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