By Khabrein.Info Correspondent,
Kozhikode: Hundreds of expatriates, who had been to homeland for only election purpose, couldn’t exercise their franchise. It was the first time expatriates were allowed to cast their votes at home. Many had to return without getting a chance to vote despite having completed the procedures overseas.
Hundreds of expatriates from Malappuram and Kozhikode districts reached the state spending extra charges for flight and paper stamping. But, many of them couldn’t participate in the election as their names were not found in voters’ list.
According to the representatives of expatriate groups, they had completed the procedures contacting embassies and sent the details to the concerned authorities here. All the tasks were completed before the scheduled date of March 16. Many had to stay off from job and spend huge money to get the clearance from embassies.
Unfortunately, they came to know that their names were not included in voters’ list, only when they reached the polling booths on April 13th. And those who got the chance for vote had to travel somewhere else as their names were not included in the home town list.
The Minister for Expatriate affairs, Vayalar Ravi had offered that those who have attested passport and photo can cast vote though their names were not enlisted. But, election officials refused to allow those who were out of voters’ list. Moreover, many were humiliated at the polling booths away from home as the booth agents had no acquaintance with the voter.
Mr.Abdurahman, the secretary of Malabar Expatriates Council, from Kozhikode had to walk a long way in his constituency to cast the much hoped vote. KMCC, Dubai committee president, Elettil Ibrahim faced the same fate but managed to vote in a booth five kilometers away from his home.
Many couldn’t find their names which were listed somewhere beyond their calculations. With, this bitter experience at home many expatriates were compelled to fly back desperately. The error-prone voter list and slowly moving enumeration process thus shattered the hopes of thousands.
Many groups, including KMCC had arranged charted flights to bring the voters home. And expatriates, mainly in GCC countries had hoped that it will be an end to their long wait for participating in the elections.