while addressing the pravasi Bharatiya divas prime minister manmohan Singh hinted about allowing the non-residential indians to vote in the next general elections. this is a very ambitious plan which is certain to have its ripples felt in the political corridors of Kerala.
malayalis are known to be politically aware whether he be a residential or non residential.the first thing a malayali does is to glance through the day’s newspaper (which are nothing more than tabloids) , then discuss the days politics at work or street corners(whether employed/not) and in the evening fight with his wife and kids to watch some news channel.though he is unaware about things happening outside the state he would be a phd in state politics.
nris make up about 3.6% of the population of the state mainly men in their prime.though politically aware and active they could not vote as they were outside the state. if they are allowed to vote the election they will be a significant force who may decide the outcome like a swing vote bank. this will be more profound in the Malabar. in districts like kannur and kasargode .
demographically speaking muslims constitute the biggest chunk of the nrks from malabar, if they are allowed voting rights their vote is expected to go the udf way. but the twist in this tale is the fact that irrespective of the religion a person returning from gulf will be having a right-wing mentality.my observation may be controversial but if you take a sample survey among the nris in the gulf majority of the hindus would be discontent due to the curtailment of their religious rights and the muslims , due to the interactions with the brethren from else where would have adopted the hijab way.so a hindu is more likely to swing towards the bjp and a muslim – away from the iuml.this muslim votes may go to pdp or other right wing parties . so bjp and pdp will have the final bargaining power.they may switch allegences.as bjp is not in a place to win in kerala its vote will be a deciding factor in districts like kannur,thrissur and palakkad. the pdp factor will be more visible in malappuram,kozhikode and kasargode which as of now will go to the cpm.
but we all know the politics of kerala. by the next LS elections congress will be in power, there must have been some scandal before the election and there will be a pro ldf wave that will bring the udf tally back to single digits. but if the regular cycle gets interrupted by any chance and the nris are allowed to vote the bjp and pdp factors must be king makers.