On April 13 KT Benny will celebrate his 37th birthday. On the same day he will also make his electoral debut from Chalakudy (Thrissur district), a Congress pocket borough.
And yet when Benny’s name figured on the list of Congress candidates from Kerala a couple of days ago, PCC (Pradesh Congress Committee) leaders thought it was a mistake.
And why not? After all, nobody had any idea who he was.
The frail, low-profile Congress worker, who sports a beard, has no hesitation admitting his humble beginning. He says, “Often I worked as a labourer in rubber estates.”
Humble or not, right now he is the ‘imported candidate’ and not very welcome within the party ranks. Tell him this and he seems sure that his detractors will come around. What he objects to is being dubbed a political novice. “I was working silently in the party for many years. It is good the high command recognised this and offered me a chance,” he says.
Deepti Mary Verghese, Youth Congress leader, seconds his claim. She says, “He was active in student politics and has good organisational qualities. That really helped him.”
Several non-happening political years elapsed before Congress secretary Meenakshi Natarajan noticed this BSc-LLB graduate. Natarajan introduced him to Rahul Gandhi and soon Benny became a member of the Youth Congress election commission.
What will be his poll plank? “Well, I’ll go by Rahulji’s vision,” a beaming Benny said.