Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani and its former CFO V Balakrishnan are not the only ones who have quit their lucrative IT careers for politics.
There are other working professionals who have either resigned or applied for leave from their busy careers to show their love for politics. Though few are contesting, they are in politics to support their favourite party or candidates.
Manjunath K S (45), who was working with MindTree as a manager, quit his job two months ago, and since then, has been working with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). He has been in the software field for the past 15 years. “For the past 45 days, I am working with AAP. I am either at the party office or doing door-to-door campaigning,” he said.
Manjunath, a resident of Vijayanagar, is campaigning for Bangalore South AAP candidate Nina P Nayak and is also into other work such as giving voice-over for the party’s e-advertisements. He is doing this as a service.
“I am spending my own money,” he said. Manjunath will look for a job after the elections. Arun Billadi (25), who hails from Mudigere in Chikmagalur district, is taking care of the Bangalore North constituency campaign for BJP candidate D V Sadananda Gowda.
“I work with the quality department in Toyota. I have been on leave for the past 20 days and will return to work after April 17. I am working on loss of pay. My mother initially opposed my decision, but she has now agreed,” he said. Arun has been part of the Anna movement for the past three years. “After watching AAP so closely, I did not feel like supporting them. India needs an experienced person like Narendra Modi. All strugglers cannot become politicians,” he said. Arun is into forming teams like NaMo Brigade and other BJP groups.
Some other volunteers are working part-time for various parties. Naveen C (40), who is the JD(S) IT wing head, is a vice-president at an MNC.
“Earlier, I was not interested in politics. But when H D Kumaraswamy became chief minister, I was impressed by his simplicity, including his sense of dressing. Now I am heading the JD(S) IT wing without any pay. We developed the party’s website, Facebook and other social network profiles. We get hundreds of mails from people which I update and, as per his instructions, we will reply to their mails,” he said. “Being the vice-president of a company, I have not taken leave. We have some people at Kumaraswamy’s office at Sadashivanagar. I give directions to them over the phone,” he said. Naveen will be on leave for 10 days from April 7 to work with the party.
Naman Pugalia (26) from Mumbai was working with Google in its Public Policy Department. Naman is now in charge of Bangalore South Congress candidate Nandan Nilekani’s campaign. “I used to manage Nandan’s campaign during my work with Google. But I could not do both the tasks and decided to quit Google,” he said. He too works as wa volunteer.