Tea-seller to crorepati, this independent candidate to debut in Karnataka polls

Bengaluru: P Anil Kumar, a new face for the upcoming Karanataka Assembly elections, used to earn his living by selling tea. Now, the 42-year-old who has filed his nomination as an independent candidate from Bommanahalli constituency in Bengaluru is a crorepati.

With declared assets worth Rs 339 crore, P Anil Kumar is the richest independent candidate to have filed nomination papers for the elections scheduled on May 12. Not only this, Kumar also owns a fleet of 16 cars, including imported brands though he wouldn't name them.

Struggle for Kumar, who hails from Kerala, began early in life. After his father died, his mother worked as a house help to take care of her three children.

With tears in his eyes, businessman Kumar said, "My mother used to wipe floors and wash utensils at people's houses. She would get four idlis to eat but would first feed us."

With diminished resources at home, Kumar could not pursue his academics beyond the third standard. He left for Bengaluru when he was mere 11 in 1985.

According to reports, Kumar who moved to Bengaluru without any roof over his head has spent his early days in the city sleeping in front of closed shops at night. After few days, Kumar was offered a job by a man in his shop. “I was told to carry mangoes from one place to another,” he said.

Soon after, he started selling tea at small companies and later, during the IT boom in the 1990s, at software companies and big showrooms. He got more people and expanded his tea-selling business. “I started earning more and even managed to save,” Kumar claimed.

Kumar’s fortunes changed after his marriage when the couple bought a plot in Bengaluru to build a house of their own. But he sold the land after somebody offered him double the price. It was his breakthrough into the world of real estate that, according to him, yielded high returns.

"I started buying small plots and sold them for many times the price. That was in the late 90s," he said, claiming that he made crores in a span of six years.

Eight years ago, he set up his own company called M J Infrastructure in Bomanahalli. Kumar says he is also into philanthropic work that includes building a church and a temple as well.

Pitted against BJP's Sathish Reddy who holds the Bomanahalli seat, P Anil Kumar seems confident of a win. “I have the Almighty's blessings and support of the people,” he said.

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