Tanudeep Bhattacharya, who went to Jaipur for the Teach for India project, coughed up almost double the usual price of an air ticket to Kolkata by buying it in the last minute. He spent the night in Delhi airport to catch the morning flight just to ensure that he reaches home in Behala on election day.
Bhattacharya is not alone. A recent survey done by leading global travel search site, Skyscanner found that people of West Bengal working or travelling in other parts of the country are the most willing lot to come back to exercise their voting right this month. "Maybe, we are more politically sensitive," said Bhattacharya.
The study recorded a month-on-month rise of 683% in domestic searches to Kolkata in April 2014 for the travel period of May. This comes on the back of a rise of over 700% in searches for domestic flights in February 2014 for April and May. According to the travel search giant, the exponential rise in domestic travel searches to Kolkata for May 2014 is likely to have been triggered by poll rush.
"Voting sentiments in India are on the rise and many people are travelling back to their hometown to cast their vote. Searches for Kolkata have been the maximum with people from cities such as Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi booking their flights around the election date," said Kavitha Gnanamurthy, senior marketing manager, Skyscanner India.
GE Healthcare global programme manager Kallol Mukherjee, too, felt the ‘poll rush’. "There seems to be great enthusiasm among Indians to play their role in electing the next government. And, we Bengalis certainly have it more than anyone else," said Mukherjee, who bought a business class ticket to Kolkata to reach home on Sunday night.
"I am heading to Kolkata on May 10 to vote," said Deepak Baid, an entrepreneur based in Gurgaon, but a voter of North Kolkata constituency.
According to Skyscanner, Bangalore topped the list of maximum domestic searches to Kolkata as it experienced a month-on-month rise of 140% in April 2014 for the travel period of May 2014. The other cities which experienced an increase in domestic searches to Kolkata for the same travel period are Delhi (83.43%), Chennai (78.57%), Hyderabad (74.60%) and Mumbai (55.09%).
This shows that people in Bengal understand politics like no other.
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