The people of India have voted. And on May 23 we will know who takes the cake in the battle between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi.
After more than 980 million Indians living in the country and abroad cast their ballots the last month, closer home, here in the UAE, there is a mixed bag of response from non-resident Indians (NRIs) who equally wish either one of these leading candidates take on the mantle of the prime job in the country.
As all eyes are on who will be crowned the next PM of India, Gulf News took the opportunity to speak to some NRIs to find out their preferred candidate for the job how they are preparing for the big day on May 23 when the world’s largest democracy will elect its new government.
Social media platform and news sites are top channels NRIs in the UAE will be getting their election news on. Whether it be through Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, or live updates on news websites, expats said they will be hooked on throughout Thursday to monitor the election results.
Mohammed Rehan Siddiqui, 36, a business development professional in Dubai is rooting for Rahul Gandhi as the next PM of India. Siddiqui hails from Bidar district in northern Karnataka, the state where currently a coalition government led by Janata Dal and Indian National Congress rules.
“I am happy with the progress the state has been making in the past years. We have attracted a number of IT firms in the state and the city of Bangalore is thriving. So I have a lot of faith in the leadership of Rahul Gandhi. I hope he takes the mantle of India’s next PM.”
“I will be getting all my election news on my phone. Thank God for smart phones, but I am hoping to get my news updates.”
At the Veg World restaurant in Meena Bazaar, Bur Dubai, however, there are some strong Modi fans. Jitendra, a waiter at the restaurant said he has been a fan of Narendra Modi since the time he became the Chief Minister of Gujarat. “The way he transformed the economy and living conditions in the state is remarkable to say the least. He has put India on the global map and has done much to portray our country well on international platforms. For this I want him to come back to power,” he said.
Chandni Krishnani,26, an engineer at Infosys hails from the state of Rajasthan where currently the Indian National Congress rules. “Sachin Pilot – the Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan, is a favourite among residents of the state. But personally I want Modi to be in power as I cannot fathom Rahul Gandhi as the PM of India.”
Krishnani said she will be depending on social media platforms to get all the election news. “Who needs a television when the world is at your hand literally. Social media rules, and I will be hooked onto Twitter feeds, Facebook posts.”
Jagtar Singh, 24, from Punjab who works as a driver in Dubai said he wants to see Rahul Gandhi as India’s next PM. Punjab is currently ruled by the Indian National Congress. “Rahul Gandhi is young and is a good representative for the youth. He has some innovative ideas as to how he wants to see India and I think we must give him a chance. The INC is a favourite in Punjab and I will go with them,” he said.
“I will be scanning websites on the internet to get my news,” said Singh.
Meanwhile Sanjay Jacob and Anwar Sadique are also rooting for Rahul Gandhi. But Ganesh Prasad from Uttarakhand will hear nothing of it.
“Modi, Modi, Modi,” he cheers on for the current Indian Prime Minister.
“He is a man who talks well, but also delivers. I hope the People of India give PM Modi a chance of another term, to achieve more and bigger things for India.”
Indians have a dream and so do the NRIs living abroad - and all they want is a better India. Whether it is better infrastructure, good clean water, more job and investment opportunities in the country, the NRIs have spoken.