HYDERABAD/JAGTIAL: Gulf migrant labour votes are going to make a difference in Telangana polls? `Yes' according to a survey done recently. With the election date nearing, the political party leaders are going extra mile to get votes. Besides local voters, the vote bank of migrant labour also plays a crucial role in deciding the electoral fortunes of the contestants. In 25 constituencies of northern Telangana, Gulf immigrants vote bank change the fate of the winners hence the political parties focused on this issue. Around 10 lakh people from Nizamabad, Adilabad, Medak and Karimnagar district went to Gulf countries in searh of livelihood.
There are 40 lakh voters in north Telangana who are family members of Gulf migrants. Apart from this number, there are another 20 lakh voters who have returned from Gulf as victims. There are 15 to 30 thousand voters in each constituency including Armoor, Nizamabad Rural, Balkonda, Kamareddy, Yellareddy, Sircilla, Jagtial, Korutla, Nirmal, Vemulawada, Choppadandi and Dharmapuri where these voters will influence the victory of the candidates.
The problems of Gulf migrants are persistent in the state. During separate Telangana movement and at the time of 2014 general elections, TRS came with a slogan, 'Bombai... Boggubai... Dubai...'.
The TRS party in its election manifesto during 2014 elections had mentioned that an amount of Rs. 5 lakh as ex-gratia for Gulf migrant labour, who dies in Gulf and promised to create welfare fund with Rs. 500 crore for Gulf workers and free legal services for those migrants who are in jails in Gulf countries. From 2 June, 2014 till date 1000 members died in Gulf countries but their families didn't receive any ex-gratia and the promises were in cold storage. The leaders of TRS assured that they will definitely keep up their promises if they are voted to power.
Congress party prepared a manifesto for Gulf immigrants and their families, the leaders have kick-started Bharosa Yatra. Before the release of election notification, PCC chief Uttam, CLP former vice-president Jeevan Reddy are planning to visit Dubai before 12 November and will ask the migrants to support Congress party in the forthcoming elections. The Congress leaders assured that they will come up with Kerala type packages for welfare of migrant labour.