A food delivery executive for Swiggy, Jenifar J. Russel is one among 22 candidates battling the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Bangalore Central constituency. Hailing from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, the independent candidate whose name will appear 13th on the EVMs in Bangalore Central bears the election symbol of a dish antenna.
Formerly a telecom engineer, 38-year-old Russel says that his decision to fight the elections came from his impulsive thought to “do something challenging.” Russel says to understand the issues people face, he had to quit his well paying job and get ground experience. For this, he decided to join Uber as a driver partner. He soon quit Uber to join Swiggy as a delivery executive.
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Russel told indianexpress.com that he gained the confidence to become a candidate for the Lok Sabha elections after his voluntary involvement – helping people at the police station or at the municipality – tasted success right from the beginning.
Russel reveals that his job as a food delivery executive has helped him connect with the city better. “Earlier I used to switch on the AC in my car and go to work. Now I’m aware of the pollution levels, potholes on road, traffic problems, parking issues, and foul smell arising from garbage dumping areas. Travelling on a two-wheeler gives me the real feel of the city,” he says.
Having met voters and done his research in and around the constituency, he says each area faces different issues. “While Shantinagar faces parking issues, Shivajinagar bears congested roads,” he says. Russel recommends that elevated parking areas and mandatory allocation of parking zones for each commercial complex in the city would help Bengaluru tackle the issue.
Once a defence services aspirant, Russel is fond of taking on ‘tough problems’ and this made him pick Bangalore Central, the only constituency in the city that he believes will have a tough triangular contest – apart from his intervention now as well. While incumbent MP PC Mohan is the BJP candidate at Bangalore Central, Congress’ Rizwan Arshad and independent candidate Prakash Raj are the prominent candidates battling the elections from the same constituency.
Russel has a message for voters: “It is the role of the elected MPs to select a Prime Minister. I humbly request each voter to pick the best (candidate as the) MP from your (respective) regions.”