Fighting elections more exciting than Infosys job: AAP's Bala

Last Updated 07 April 2014, 10:05 IST

In poll fray on AAP ticket, former Infosys director V Balakrishnan, once in charge of managing over Rs 15,000 crore of Infosys cash, finds fighting elections more exciting than his job at the IT giant.

Bala, as the former finance head of Infosys is commonly known as, is fighting his first election from the Bangalore Central constituency here for Lok Sabha polls.

Besides, Nilekani, a co-founder and former CEO of Infosys, is also in the poll fray from Bangalore South seat on Congress ticket.

Bala is fighting against BJP's sitting MP P C Mohan and Congress' youth wing chief Rizwan Arshad while Nilekani is pitted against BJP's sitting MP Ananth Kumar and Aam Aadmi Party's Nina Nayak, among others.

"While my full support is with the AAP candidate from Bangalore South, Nandan will also have my best wishes as a former colleague," said soft-spoken Bala, who quit Infosys in December last.

Confident of winning his debut election, Bala said he was meeting voters everyday through outreach programmes.

"My core team of 15 members are working hard. I am equally focussing on IT sector voters, the poor and the well to-do electors. It's a 24-hour job and more exciting than working in Infosys," Bala told PTI in an interview.

Bala said there is also a lot of mutual respect between him and Nilekani.

Born in a traditional middle class family in the quaint town of Vellore in Tamil Nadu, 49-year old Bala has made Bangalore his home for nearly 30 years.

He had first come here to do his CA (Chartered Accountancy) with just "Rs 10 in his pocket" but now has Rs 190 crore in declared assets largely because of his Infosys background.

"This city has given me a great career and a superb life. I was disenchanted with politics till Arvind (Kejriwal) proved that honest politics works. Corruption is a hidden tax that is eating values that are Indian.

There is an urgent need to create an ecosystem that nurtures honest enterprises. People know it and AAP will deliver this," Bala said.

From the boring 'beep' callertune as a corporate executive, Bala now sports a customised tune that promotes his party AAP while seeking votes.

On his rival candidates from BJP and Congress, Bala said there is "nothing formidable" about them and the constituency was suffering from civic problems, rampant corruption and rising economic divide even though both principal parties have considerable presence in assembly seats.

Carved out of Bangalore North and South Lok Sabha seats in the 2009 polls, the Bangalore Central constituency has eight assembly segments with a mixture of upper and middle class voters.

In his war room, Bala is supported by techies who have quit jobs or taken a break and AAP volunteers who lack the wherewithal of major parties but are braving the scorching sun and first-timer's issues of a fledgling entity.

"My house is in Rajajinagar. If you look around here and elsewhere, you will see people's realization that AAP is the alternative to politicians promoting crony capitalism.

"The current political system is based on money power, muscle strength and caste equations. Only voters can change this," said Bala, who unlike many others is contesting from an area where he resides with wife Chitra and two daughters Sneha and Shwetha.

(Published 07 April 2014, 10:05 IST)

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