The non-resident Indians of Punjab have refrained from participating or canvassing in the Lok Sabha elections in the state this time around. It was for the first time that the expatriates have failed to show any interest in Lok Sabha elections in the state even as they were seen striving hard in the past to ensure that their voices were heard. They have “deserted” almost all political parties and for that matter “even their motherland” if their suddenly eroded interest in the Punjab politics was any indication.
Interestingly, the NRIs were invited and kept at forefront by almost all major political parties — the SAD-BJP, the Congress and even the left in the past — and they used to be an integral part of the poll strategy targeting their relatives living here and particularly in Doaba region—the NRI heartland of Punjab. The trend to involve the NRIs began when the Congress had formed its government post-militancy in the state in 1992