Tuesday, April 5, 2016

C K Janu to contest as NDA Candidate

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Tribal leader C K Janu will contest the May 16 Assembly election in Kerala as a candidate of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.

BJP state President Kummanam Rajasekharan said here Tuesday that Janu would contest the election and an announcement in this regard would be made within two days.

Party sources said the Adivasi Gothra Mahasabha leader, who led the Muthanga land struggle, would contest from Batheri seat in Wayanad.

The BJP was holding discussions with the tribal leader for the past several days with a hope of cashing in her popularity in the tribal belt.

Janu started her career as a domestic servant at a local school teacher's house, at the age of seven where she spent five years. By the age of 13, she started working as a labourer for a daily wage of Rs two. Later, she learned tailoring and started a small shop which, subsequently, had to be closed down due to financial constraints.

Janu, in her early years, was influenced by Arikkad Varghese - a popular left-wing extremist in the 1970s - who led a tribal uprising in Tirunelli forest in Wyanad and started her social career by speaking out from personal experience. Soon she became identified as the voice of tribal people. Janu began her activism as a member of Kerala State Karshaka Thozhilali Union (KSKTU), a union of agricultural labourers affiliated to Communist Party of India (Marxist) and continued to be involved on the party's invitation. She worked as a campaigner for the Union till 1987 when she quit the party after becoming disillusioned with them as she felt the party was less interested in the cause of the tribal people. She then embarked on a tribal tour to understand their problems and to mobilise them for struggle.

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