Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Posted at: May 15, 2019, 7:38 AM; last updated: May 15, 2019, 7:38 AM (IST)

No dhols, Punjab NRIs indifferent

No dhols, Punjab NRIs indifferent

Varinder Singh

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 14

The interest of NRIs in Punjab elections is almost nil this time. They seem to have forsaken all parties. In the last elections, Punjabis living abroad were aggressively wooed by the SAD-BJP, Congress and even the Left.

There was a time when overseas supporters of the SAD and Congress would arrive in Punjab one or two months prior to the elections and host parties with the objective to persuade their near and dear ones to vote for their party. In the 2017 Assembly elections, the NRIs had descended on Punjab in droves, mainly to canvass for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Canada-based supporters had even chartered a flight from Toronto to New Delhi (January 19, 2017).

The situation is starkly different this time. The dhols are missing, so are the NRIs. “They are disappointed. They realise their efforts to usher in change in their motherland will not bear fruit,” says Deepak Punj, Director, Radio Frontline, Toronto. Satnam Singh Chahal of the North American Punjabi Association (NAPA) says they have tried and tested various political outfits. "We don't want to waste our money and energy on a futile exercise," he says. Beantbir Singh, a Brampton-based realtor, says they have lost faith in India’s political class as a whole.


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