NRI’s In US Celebrate Cabinet’s Decision On Extension Of Proxy VotingAugust 10, 2017 13:00
The large non-resident Indian Community in the US has welcomed the recent decision of the union cabinet to extend Proxy Voting to Overseas Indians.
“We welcome this move" Said Thomas Abraham, Chairman of the Global Organization Of People Of Indian Origin (GOPIO).
He also said that decision like this is a dream come true to many Indians like him.
The Election Commission (EC) estimates that there are about 16 million Indians outside India, of which around 70% are eligible to vote. While a significant number of people are in the middle east, In the US the estimation is around 8,00,000 to 1.5 million. The majority of them are young either university students or those on H-1B visa.
“This is a very good move, but I have to figure out the process”, said sanjay Singh, a doctoral student at the University of Maryland, college of Park campus. Coming to know about this through social media, Singh was of view that this would work only if the NRI’s were given online voting facility.
“This not the case right now”, there could be a huge chance of misuse of proxy voting, it could be up for sake too, said Stephen, founder and president of kerala center in New York, who has retained his Indian citizen ship despite being a green card holder for more than 4 decades now.
Senior members of election commission of India recently interacted with eminent Indian American community about this proxy voting, officials present at the meeting said that the feed backs are positive. But many of them have questions on the process also.
Many of the leaders said that they would support direct voting rather than proxy voting, many present at the meeting also voiced their opinions that Overseas citizen of India (OCI) should be upgraded to dual nationality.
GOPIO has also suggested that the NRI’s must be provided proper representation in the parliament.
“One option would be by abolishing the reserved seats for Anglo Indians since they are well settled and integrated in the Indian community and those seats to be reserved for the unrepresented Indian Citizens living outside India”, said Abraham.
During congress regime, the NRI’s are allowed to vote, but they have to physically be present.
NRI voting has been one of promises made by BJP during elections, which in 2014 general elections has experienced an outpouring support from overseas Indian community both in manpower and funding.