Dubai: There have been mixed reactions among expatriate Indians living in the Gulf countries following the landslide victory of the BJP, led by Narendra Modi, in the Indian general elections. While some expressed hope and enthusiasm, for others, there was disappointment.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Kerala Muslim Cultural Committee (KMCC), which had anticipated a Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) victory in Kerala was partly relieved by the election outcome in the state, where the BJP could not open its account despite its huge success across the country.
KMCC is a prominent cultural organisation of Indian expatriates in the Gulf region.
"We celebrated the success of our leaders and the UDF in Kerala. But, we are upset about what happened at the centre," P.K. Anwar Naha, president of Dubai KMCC, said.
Around 500 of its members poured at its office in Dubai Friday to catch the election results.
Naha said he was anxious about the Modi government's policy for the Arab region.
"One main concern is about India having closer relations with Israel which would not be good for its relations with Arab countries. Also, we can mostly expect a new face as the minister of overseas Indian affairs. We will have to wait and see what more the new minister can do for the welfare of the Indian expatriates, especially the labour class," the Khaleej Times quoted Naha as saying Saturday.
K.V. Shamsudheen, chairman of Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust, said: "We NRIs kept on presenting to the UPA government our grievances but we never got any result."
Shamsudheen, a renowned social worker in the UAE, expressed confidence in the new government and said Modi would make visible changes immediately in commodity price control, poverty alleviation, infrastructure development, foreign investment, as well as control of terrorism and corruption.
Other expatriate leaders voiced their high hopes of development from the Modi-led government like inclusive growth, boosting economic growth and giving the Indian diaspora their due.
According to Ram Buxani, president of the India Club Dubai, the clear government mandate after three decades would help the new government take decisions independently.
"During the past few years, the political parties were involved in mudslinging and accusing each other for promoting communal division or dynastic politics. I hope the new government will concentrate on development of India," The Gulf Today quoted Buxani, who is also president of Cosmos ITL Group, as saying Saturday.
Buxani lauded Modi for his image of welcoming NRIs and attracting investment in Gujarat.
He is of the view, that 25 million strong NRIs need representation in the law-making process.
"There should be NRI representatives from the Middle East, the Far East, the US, the UK, and Africa," added Buxani.