Kerala polls: Expats in UAE campaigning for candidates

Abu Dhabi, Oct 17 (IANS) The poll fever in Kerala appears to have gripped the expatriates from the southern Indian state in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as they are campaigning for candidates through social media.

Nearly 1,000 village panchayats, municipalities and corporations in Kerala will be going to polls on November 2 and 5.

Non-Resident Indians in the UAE are using sites like Facebook and Twitter as well as mobile apps like WhatsApp and Instagram to seek votes for their favourite candidates in the fray, Emirates 24|7 News reported on Friday.

Dubai resident Mohammed Ali Firoz is campaigning for his mother who is contesting from Trichur. He is appealing for votes from his friends and well-wishers living in Kerala.

“In the forthcoming polls, my dear mother is contesting and I seek all your support and blessings,” Firoz posted on his Facebook page.

Some expatriates will also be visiting the constituencies to garner votes for their favourite candidates and parties.

Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC) in Delhi is making arrangements to bring about 200 expatriates to Kerala’s Malappuram city on October 29.

“This is an important election for expatriates and their families back home. We appeal to expatriates to use their voting rights to preserve secularism and religious harmony back home,” Ibrahim Mulchandi, general secretary of KMCC, said.

On November 2, the polls would be held in the districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Idukki, Kozhikode, Kannur, Wayanad and Kasargode while on November 5, the election would be held in Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad and Malappuram districts.

The polls would be for 21,871 seats in 941 village, 152 blocks and 14 district panchayats besides 86 municipalities and six corporations. The last date for nominations’ withdrawal would be October 17.

Over 2.50 crore voters would exercise their franchise at 35,000 polling booths.

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