Buses from Bengaluru to Kerala decline as Covid-19 cases surge

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As the election dates come closer, different political parties have the voters ferry from Bengaluru to Kerala, however, with the rising Covid-19 cases, this age-old tradition has been neglected and only a count of 30 buses have left the city with the people ready to cast vote on Tuesday.

According to estimated figures, 12 lakh Keralites reside in Bengaluru, and many recent migrants still having the voting rights based in Kerala. The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) along with the United Democratic Front (UDF) have their party mechanisms all set up which includes aiding the transport of the potential vote bank.

For the current year, Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) has also offered the bus services from six locations of the city to reach Palakkad where BJP candidate Metroman E Sreedharan is contesting. The bus pick-up times were widely popular among the WhatsApp groups of the respective voters.

The majority of the buses travel towards Malabar districts based in Kannur, Kasargod, Kozhikode and Malappuram. R Muraleedhar, General Convenor of Karnataka Kerala Travellers Forum (KKTF) said to DH, “This year, the number of buses is very low. Quarantine rules are an issue. But the RT-PCR negative report mandated by the Karnataka government on re-entry is one major factor.”

The ferry route to Kerala with 1,200 UDF voters moving in 18 buses, Musthafa iterated the buses were less in frequency as Musthafa said people have been hesitant to take the risk. He said, “Despite making arrangements for the RT-PCR tests, many were not willing to travel.” Several voters are also scared that the elections will invoke another spike in the Covid-19 cases.

It has been reported that the numbers are also down as many IT employees have shifted their base to Kerala houses with ongoing work from home.

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