Lok Sabha Election 2024: Expat voters from the Gulf arrive in chartered flights to cast votes

Various expatriate organisations affiliated with the political parties have partnered with travel agencies to book flight tickets for expatriate voters at on affordable rate. Photo: Manorama

Dubai: Non–resident Keralites, settled in various Gulf countries, are eager to reach their hometowns to cast their votes in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Even though many flights from the UAE and other Gulf countries were either cancelled or rescheduled due to the severe floods last week, expatriate voters will fly to Kerala in chartered flights. Most of the flight services from the GCC countries to Kerala, since last Friday, have been completely booked by the voters. Meanwhile, various expatriate organisations affiliated with political parties have partnered with travel agencies to book flight tickets for expatriate voters at an affordable rate. The tickets were sold for an average rate of Rs 8500. Even though these organisations managed to arrange chartered flights and avail discounts, the voters have to bear the expenses of the tickets. Meanwhile, the unexpected deluge that affected the normal life of the people in the Gulf countries had completely toppled the flight services too.

Expatriate voters arrive mostly in Northern Kerala. EP Ubaidullah, President of Global KMCC said that the organisation aims to fly home 10,000 expatriate voters each from the UAE and Saudi Arabia. KMCC had managed to fly 190 voters from Jeddah to Kerala on April 7. Interestingly, there are 35,793 expatriate voters in Kozhikode district alone. As per unofficial data, 14,827 among them are registered voters in the Vadakara constituency, 17,424 are voters in Kozhikode and 3542 will be voting in the Wayanad constituency. Meanwhile, there are 10,000 expatriate voters in Pattambi and 8800 voters in Mannarkad regions that come under the Palakkad Lok Sabha constituency. In Wayanad district, there are almost fifteen thousand expatriate voters. 7035 expatriate voters are registered in Kannur Lok Sabha constituency.

First ‘vote’ flight from Dubai
Karipur: Expatriates continue to land in huge numbers to cast their votes in the Lok Sabha elections. A group of 122 voters arrived yesterday at Karipur on an Air Arabia flight. The flight was arranged by Dubai KMCC of Kozhikode district. The group had departed from Ras Al Khaimah as flight services hadn’t resumed in Dubai following the floods. Members of INCAS too were part of this group. Most of the expatriates who arrived on this flight were voters in the Vadakara constituency. Ibrahim Murichandi, acting president of Dubai KMCC said that it was the first ‘vote’ flight from Dubai. He added that more such flights would arrive in Kerala in the coming days. 

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