Simplicity and honesty makes this Lok Sabha candidate stand out from the crowd. Meet R Parthiban, who is now trying his luck from Theni constituency on an AIADMK ticket.
Parthiban starts his day at 4.30 in the morning, as he tends to his coconut grove, the only source of income for his family. He had a few more properties that he lost in his unsuccessful bid from Bodinayakknaur constituency in the 2006 Assembly elections.
“As I am a farmer by profession, I mingle freely with the people and share their happiness and sorrow,” Parthiban tells Express while watering the coconut trees.
A native of Koolaiyanoor near Theni, Parthiban (49), a graduate in political science, lives with his family in a small farmhouse attached to the coconut grove. There is no fanfare in front of his house, except a few party flags and a makeshift shed which he put up recently to receive the people who visit him.
Dressed in a white dhoti, Parthiban doesn’t even wear a watch. Examining a coconut tree, he says, “I manage the educational expenditure of my two daughters with the `10,000 I earn from this field.”
While interacting with villagers, he notes down every single suggestion made by them. “They are my people, I shouldn’t hurt them,” Parthiban explains.
Although he lost his prime property and the 2006 elections by a narrow margin of 664 votes, Parthiban is confident of winning this time.
“The welfare schemes introduced by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa have reached all villages in the constituency. There is a positive response from women voters as free mixer-grinders distributed by Amma have reached all houses,” he points out.
He adds that many poor students have benefited from the free laptop schemes. So, the first time voters are with the AIADMK, he says confidently. Continued on: P5