As the Malappuram parliamentary constituency in the Malabar region of Kerala is gearing up for parliamentary by-election, expatriates from the district are busy campaigning through various channels. Malappuram district has the largest overseas population from Kerala, according to a recent survey, and the community actively participates in any elections back home.
While many Malappuram expatriates in the Gulf, especially the UAE and Saudi Arabia, are taking a flight to cast their votes, many are campaigning through social media, WhatsApp groups and small group meetings.
There are over 1,000 registered Non-Resident Indian voters in the parliamentary constituency and the role of expatriates is crucial as many family heads are working in the Gulf, especially in Saudi and the UAE. The by-poll in the Malappuram constituency on April 12, 2017, was prompted following the death of sitting MP E Ahmed in New Delhi.
KMCC Malappuram Committee has been coordinating the by-election campaign among the over 200,000-strong overseas community from Malappuram. Issues like beef, triple talaq have dominated the campaign and caught the attention of national media.