NRI’s have been an inseparable part in Punjab’s electoral process from the last 65 years. But the 2017 Assembly elections are special as NRIs are reaching the state in large numbers.
However, the situation is amusing as some of alleged NRIs meeting local people and those on call have been found to very much Indian citizens especially from Delhi. Some of the 1000 strong NRIs calling on behalf of AAP may actually be faking out of a call center. One voter from Punjab Surinder Singh got such a call in due course of the discussion the caller confirmed he was calling from Vikas Puri in Delhi.
After AAP’s NRI supporters who landed in Amritsar today, a bus titled as NRI Express carrying Congress NRI supporters from various countries reached Chandigarh. The two issues that concern most of the NRIs are drugs and the law and order situation. The NRI Punjabi’s who returned after a long gap say this is not the Punjab which they had left. The people according to them are no more happy and are in fact stressed due to the failure of crops,drug problem and poor fiscal health of the state besides the debt.
“The law and order situation in Punjab has become from bad to worse during the past ten years. We used to bring our children with us during the Winters earlier but now stopped as we are scared. Badals have ignored NRIs and even stopped organising the NRI Sammellens,” says Daljit Sahota who lives in UK.
Drug problem is other big issue which has left the NRIs worried. Rupinder Singh Sandhu, who lives in California, is in Punjab for a change as the Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP government failed to control the menace of drugs which have ruined state’s future.
“The development in Punjab has come to a stand still.The drug problem has spread like a cancer.China fought an opium war and we will have to fight a war against the synthetic drugs,” Rupinder Singh Sandhu says.
Pradeep Kumar Bhardwaj who lives in Kuwait says the development in Punjab is confined to the religious places only.”The issues like drugs have not been addressed properly. Rural areas san development. I am worried about my fellow Punjabis, the youths in particular who have been consumed by drugs,” says Pradeep Kumar Bhardwaj.
Others like Shirvraj from Switzerland, Sumer Singh from Sydney and DK Mehra are also worried about the cancer of drugs which has snared most of state’s youths.
NRI’s like Harjinder Singh Chahal are here for a change. They want a transparency and a responsible government in the state.
“Punjab has been ruined during the past decade. We cannot trust the present government any more. We are here for a change. We want a government which understand NRI Punjabis and their problems. We cannot sit idle and let outsiders rule Punjab,” Harjinder Singh Chahal says.