Lok Sabha elections 2019: Disillusioned NRIs’ angst makes for subdued campaigning in Punjab  

Gone is the hustle and bustle of 2014 and the huge crowd of non-resident Indians who milled about then with some purpose.

Published: 20th May 2019 03:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th May 2019 09:44 AM   |  A+A-


Image for representational purpose only

Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: Gone is the hustle and bustle of 2014 and the huge crowd of non-resident Indians who milled about then with some purpose.

Scientists, professors, hoteliers and even harassed parents of abandoned Punjabi brides, who had taken a sabbatical from their comfortable lives in Australia, the UK, the US and Canada, were pulled as if by a magnet to a little known but ‘very promising party’—AAP. This time, that fervour was completely missing during electioneering in Punjab.

Jasbir Singh Gill, former president of Punjab NRI Sabha, says, “In the Assembly elections in 2017 and the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the colour and talk was out of this world. There was a lot of josh. There was expectation of something big about to happen. But this time there is nothing to match it. It’s as if all hopes have drained away”.

To many who joined politics with enthusiasm, the recall is of some 30,000 NRIs who had come to Punjab to join the campaigning, especially of AAP. “Today a few hundred are around, that too because they are close to political leaders, their kith and kin,” said Gill.

“The reason NRIs have chosen not to come this time is due to their total disillusionment with all political parties and the hollow promises and arbitrary policies of the Modi government”, says Gill.


At a conservative estimate, some 80 lakh NRIs hail from Punjab. Many found that their land back home had been taken away by unscrupulous elements and whoever they turned to, offered no help. Despite special NRI courts being set up, cases were delayed and there was no justice.

Many of them had seen a ray of hope in AAP. Even families affected by the ‘Honeymoon Brides’ syndrome, where women from Punjab married abroad, were duped and sent back home, had supported it.

With no political party offering concrete help, this huge body of voters is up in arms.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp