High-flying NRI voters from Gulf; thanks to IUML

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Kerala
Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 2: With the poll fever hotting up in the five states where Assembly elections are going to be held, Kerala is no different. With the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) hoping to retain its strong holds, the Opposition, UDF is also trying hard to woo voters.

The voters have gone one step ahead to vote for their chosen one. After voting rights were awarded to Non-Resident Indians (NRI) this election, the voters based in the Gulf are doing all it can to choose their chosen ones. Recent news suggest that a group of Gulf NRI's have decided to charter flights to Kerala to vote for the polls slated to be held on Apr 13.

The trips are apparently organised by the Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre ( KMMC), linked to Indian Union Muslim League. The KMCC Dubai committee chief Ibrahim Ilayathil has been quoted as saying, “This is the first assembly election after NRIs were given voting rights. We are excited; want to make full use of it."

With all plans in place for the flights, the KMCC has booked its first chartered flight with RAK Airways (UAE) that will bring 166 members to Kozhikode on Apr 9. Ibrahim added that the journey would cost somewhere near 610 dirhams (about Rs 7,500) one way and said, ''About 60 people registered on the first day. We're sure the flight will be full soon.''

The KMCC has a strong-member base of about 15,000 registered members and over 2,500 supporters spread across the Gulf region. Ibrahim also spoke about the native of the members and said, ''In Nadapuram constituency, for instance, there are about 500 voters among members. If they all vote, we are sure it will make a big difference to the prospects of the Muslim League and the Congress-led UDF."

He also stated that he would offer his assistance to all those seeking to enroll as voters. He added that close to 1000 members had registered their names in the voters' list. With media eyes on the news that is sure to raise quite a few eyebrows, he justified his stand saying, "We are only a facilitator. The flight can be booked only after paying 50% fare advance. We recover the remaining from travellers''.

Ibrahim also added that the reason behind this expensive proposition is, “We want to expose CM V S Achuthanandan's conspiracy against party general secretary P K Kunhalikutty." Kunhalikutty was embroiled in a sex scandal that dented the party's image considerably.

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