Lok Satta

Wednesday, 04 February 2009 11:50

NRI Voter Rights

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NRI Voter Rights
What happened so far in India
Mode of voting
Course of action now
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What happened so far in India

A Bill to amend Section 20 of the Representation of the People Act 1950 has been introduced in Indian Parliament in 2006, and is still pending.  The Bill seeks to extend voting rights to NRIs by treating them as ordinarily resident in India for voting purposes.  But the Bill does not provide for postal ballots or other forms of polling for NRIs.  The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice had examined the Bill and recommended that  a comprehensive Bill on the subject should be introduced “containing all details regarding the manner of enrollment of the Non-Resident Indians, the mode of voting and the conditionalities for contesting elections.”  The government has not acted on it so far.

 

Given these circumstances Lok Satta unreservedly supports the movement for extending voting rights to all NRIs who are Indian citizens.

  • All NRIs who are Indian citizens should be entitled to vote in Indian elections irrespective of where they reside
  • All such NRIs should be eligible to contest elections for any public office as a representative or legislator at local, state or national level.
  • Such NRIs should be enabled to vote without having to return to India during elections.