Worker takes on boss in Kozhikode

Worker takes on boss in Kozhikode

Worker takes on boss in Kozhikode

One of the election posters for Sajan A K, an independent candidate from the Kozhikode South constituency, reads – “Jayikkaanalla, tholkaathirikkaan” (this is not to win, but to make sure to not lose).

The words appear loaded when you realise that Sajan, a driver, is contesting the election against a former employer, a minister, whose company owes him and about 300 other former employees their salaries for 6 months.

Sajan, 36, is taking on Muslim League stalwart and Minister for Social Justice M K Muneer, who was also chairman of the now non-functional Malayalam television news channel, Indiavision.

A resident of Puthiyangadi, Sajan was employed as a driver with the channel when it was closed down in February, 2015. He, along with the other employees, has been fighting for salaries pending for 6 months, at the time of the channel’s closure.

“He (Muneer) has been trying to pacify us saying that the channel will resume service soon and the employees will be reinstated. Some of the journalists have managed to find work elsewhere but most of the employees, especially the technical staff, have been left jobless,” Sajan told DH.

He says it was a collective decision of the former employees to field him as a candidate against the minister. Muneer, 53, is a 4-time MLA who won from the constituency in 2011 by a weak 1,376-vote margin.

The group is set to launch its road campaign for Sajan. “This is not at all about winning the election, I know how I’m placed as a candidate. But I had to do this; when he seeks vote as a ‘virtuous Kozhikodan’, I can’t sit back and watch,” he said.

On sheer terms of power equations, this is as unequal a poll battle can get – a minister and son of late former chief minister C H Mohammed Koya vs his former driver.