Oman


Indian expats flying home as poll fever gains ground



Muscat: With the election fever gripping all of India and just four more days left for the first phase of polling to begin, a number of Indians including supporters and activists of various Indian political parties are flying back home to campaign for their favourite candidates and vote.

"Already, our top five leaders in Oman are in the south Indian state of Kerala to campaign for our party. It is a crucial election. So, our leaders must be there to support and campaign for our candidates," Shameeer PTK, an active worker of Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC) in Oman, said.

"In addition to the leaders, many are flying to India to vote individually. We don't want to miss our voting right only because of being non-resident Indians," he added.

Meanwhile, the KMCC Dubai organisers have chartered an Air India flight to take 160 voters from Dubai to vote in Kozhikode, Kerala, on April 7 on a subsidised fare.

"We are flying tonight to campaign for our leaders and to cast our vote. We don't want to miss this chance which will be crucial in shaping up our country's future," Siddique Hassan, national president of Overseas Indian Cultural Congress (OICC) Oman, said.

The OICC represents Indian National Congress, the ruling party in India, in Oman. "We don't have that kind of fund to charter flights. But, many are individually flying back to India to participate in the elections," Siddique added.

During the last few weeks, the OICC organised a number of get-togethers in Oman to campaign for the Congress candidates in India.

Meanwhile, representatives of Left parties in India said that a few of their members are flying home individually for voting. "Some of our members are already in Kerala for campaigning. A few are adjusting their leaves and flying to India for campaigning and to cast votes," a Leftist sympathiser said.

Neelesh Gaur, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporter in Oman, said that he will fly to India to cast his vote. "Each and every vote will matter. So, I have decided to go for the elections and I am also encouraging others to do the same. It is a crucial election," Neelesh, an ardent supporter of BJP's Narendra Modi,  said.

To get in touch with the reporter: reji@timesofoman.com

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