Dubai: With strong allegiance to political parties in India, hundreds of Indian expats are heading home in advance to participate in the election campaigns of their parties and to motivate their peers apart from casting their votes.
As election fever grips India, several Indian expats, who used to be active political workers prior to their arrival here and continue to support their parties back home, have already reached their homeland.
Bhupendra Kumar, president of the Indian People Forum (IPF) UAE, said some hundreds of supporters of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are going to India to take part in the election campaigns and to vote.
“We are motivating people to travel in as many number as possible, to go to their constituencies for campaigning to motivate others and also to vote,” he told Gulf News.
“Majority of them are going to Kerala and Karnataka. Several people are flying to UP, Bihar and northern states also. We are requesting them to travel at least one week before their voting date. This will help them understand the issues people are facing so that we can collect those details and pass them on to the leadership.”
Though IPF is not funding tickets, he said, it is providing the members with a set of two leaflets for using during the election campaigns. “One leaflet compares what the Congress-led governments had done for 65 years with what the BJP-led government has done in the past five years. The second one lists the promises of our 2014 manifesto and what all we have achieved so far. These two will give a clear idea to the people to vote for us.”
He said the IPF office-bearers are also requesting Indian businessmen, who are sympathetic to BJP’s ideology and had contributed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign, to allow their employees to adjust their annual leave to coincide with the election dates in their constituencies.
Around 300 members of the Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC), which has allegiance to the Indian Union Muslim League party and the United Democratic Front alliance in Kerala, are going home from various emirates, said Anwar Naha, president of KMCC Dubai.
“The election enthusiasm among Indian expats is much higher this time,” he told Gulf News.
“Majority of our members, who are not going home for the election, have decided not to bring their families on visit here during school vacation in Kerala. We don’t want our families’ votes to be missed.”
He said the NRIs flying home for election are a great inspiration for people in their localities. “It will be a celebration when they reach home. They can easily motivate others in their constituency.”
He said the party workers will be focusing on highlighting how the current government failed in providing NRI-friendly initiatives. “The most pressing demand of NRIs to get voting right was something the government could have easily implemented. NRIs had to protest against the government’s moves to change the colour of the ECR passport and to implement offloading policy for non-registration of our details.”
Top leaders of Incas UAE, the socio-cultural arm of the Indian National Congress in the UAE, are already campaigning for the party back home, said advocate Sheela Thomas, Incas UAE Coordinator.
“Our president Mahadevan Vazhassery and general secretary Punnakkan Mohammad Ali were there with AICC President Rahul Gandhi when he visited the Wayanad constituency. They are campaigning in other districts of Kerala as well.”
Three office-bearers of Incas in Abu Dhabi, Yesuseelan, A.M Ansar and Shibu Varghese, will also be rolling out a state-wide road trip to campaign for Congress.
“I am also flying next week. The main purpose is to ensure Congress is coming back to power to rescue India from the current communal threats. Rahul Gandhi becoming the Prime Minister is the need of the hour for the democratic and secular future of India.”