Kerala now boasts of a new political party led by expatriate Indians after the Kerala Pravasi Association (KPA) was registered with the Election Commission.
Rajendran Vellapalath, national council chairman of KPA, said the need for a party focusing on expatriates was felt as there are about 18 million Indians living abroad but they are neglected by governments and mainstream political parties.
Vellapalath said apart from working for ‘pravasi’ Indians, the party aims to utilise the exposure and experience that the expatriates have gained in various fields for the betterment of India.
KPA has already approached the Supreme Court and filed a writ petition seeking voting rights for pravasis.
Vellapalath said: “We aim to build a self-sufficient, corruption-free New India with participation of Pravasi Indians, using their international experience and exposure, work experience, expertise, strength and enthusiasm to overcome any challenge.”
What will also set the party apart from its mainstream contemporaries is that its leaders will not engage in ‘hartals’ or ‘bandhs’
At present, the party has a 36-member national council and has established groups in 941 local bodies across Kerala.
The expat community covers over one-third of the population of Kerala, contributes about 37 per cent of the GDP of the state and hence the association has started its activities from Kerala.
KPA has identified implementation of expatriates’ views in 36 areas, including agriculture, environment protection, industrial development and manufacturing sectors.
Vellapalath said they will also begin a website called ‘keralastart up.com’ to help start-ups and ‘Keralashree’ for formulating programmes to help women. These will begin in Kerala as pilot projects and the party plans to extend it to other parts of the country.
KPA has also decided to field candidates in the upcoming elections.