Vijayan free-kick for Karuna
Having dazzled fans with his deft footwork, I.M. Vijayan is ready to play ball again — this time, on the electoral field. Vijayan will fight the coming assembly polls as a candidate of K. Karunakaran's Democratic Indira Congress.
"The party has already informed me. I am raring to score a few goals against my opponents," the lanky striker said.
For Vijayan, the plunge into politics is simply a matter of returning a favour. The school dropout might be one of the highest paid club players now but he used to sell soda bottles in Thrissur municipal stadium for a living. And he hasn't forgotten the people who dragged him out of the mire.
"Leader (Karunakaran) gave me the first break — a police constable's job —when he was the chief minister. Since then there was no looking back for me," he says. That is also why he chose a relatively new party for his debut, he said, "For me Leader is a father figure. He played a key role in shaping my career. He needs me now."
The 37-year-old striker is confident that he will be able to dribble his way through the political minefield. "Like soccer, politics is also a challenging field. With my quick responses and attacking game, I think I can excel in no time." Vijayan is likely to be fielded from a constituency in Malappuram district, known for its soccer-crazy fans.
This is not the first time the East Bengal footballer has forayed into unknown terrain.
Three years ago, Vjiayan made his cine debut with a glittering performance in Shantam, an award-winning Malayalam movie.
He has already acted in four other movies. "I am busy with a Tamil movie, Timiru. I guess have to find more time for my public life."