The Non-Resident Telugus (NRTs) as they are called by the ruling Telugu Desam Party in the State are not interested in getting registered as voters this time. Though the TDP has been extensively campaigning among the IT employees and the NRTs to come back at least for the voting, there is not much rush on this count this time.
There was a huge surge of the IT employees visiting their home land in the 2014 elections to vote for Chandrababu Naidu. The IT employees from this region working in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and other places have come in large numbers during the last elections and have cast their votes for the TDP, which helped the party win the election. The victory margin for the TDP was just 5 lakh votes, despite the wave of Narendra Modi and the positive mood of Pawan Kalyan. This 5 lakh had come for the TDP only from these IT employees who hired buses to visit their home land and vote.
Even after the TDP’s victory and the TDP’s continued campaign, besides its patronising some of the NRTs on investment and other issues, there is not so much enthusiasm among the Telugus living outside the State to come back and vote for Chandrababu Naidu.
According to the Election Commission reports, only 15 NRTs have registered in Andhra Pradesh as voters, 11 men and 4 women. Though the Election Commission too is offering voter registration for the NRIs across the State, it is only the NRIs from Kerala who are taking advantage and enrolling themselves for vote.
Of nearly 3.50 crore NRIs, just 24,000 have registered as voters in India and a sizeable number of them are from Kerala. The TDP, which is active among the NRTs too is far behind in getting them enrolled here ahead of the elections. The TDP had appointed Komati Jayaram as the government’s special representative for NRIs and there are a couple of TDP leaders in US who have been helping the TDP to get popularise. The NRTs have also been funding the TDP for its electioneering.
In fact, it is the NRTs who have coined the new slogan of “Malli Nuvve Ravali” campaign in the State for the next election. While this campaign goes all over the State, the response from the NRTs to come and vote for the TDP is not seen as vibrant as the slogan itself.