As 2019 general election are slated to be held around April-May 2019, political parties in India are going all out to get the voter’s traction to their advantages. Current political atmosphere is really electrical and in full swing with plethora of allegations and counter allegations. Our politicians have earned quite a reputation, so this fever is expected to only ascend.
While politicians will continue doing what they are famous for, we, the citizens of world’s largest democracy, too have to roll up our sleeves to do our part.
As they say ‘A government is as good as the people who voted for it’, so it is quite imperative that we make best efforts to show up at polling station on ‘The D Day’. In 2019, there will be around 90 crores eligible voters and going by the past trends, approximately 62 to 65 (70% voter turnout) crores are expected to cast their vote.
The NRIs phenomenon
In 2014 general election, where BJP led government won with thumping majority, around 17 crore people voted for them. So, three crore NRIs definitely represents a sizeable vote share and by all means have capacity to make or break candidates’ political future. Realising the same, Indian government moved a bill to allow NRIs to vote using their authorised proxy in India.
As Per current law NRIs (who are Indian passport holders) can vote only by being physically present in their constituency, which is highly impractical.
What is new Legislation
The new legislation allow NRIs to vote via their authorised proxy. It is like you will be nominating a person to vote on your behalf. Provision of eVoting was also discussed while drafting, but was rejected by expert committee owing to technical reasons.
Current status of new legislation
The bill was passed by Lok Sabha in August 2018 but is still pending for approval in the Rajya Sabha, who might take this up during budget session (or government might take ordinance route or call for joint session of parliament). In the nutshell, we have to wait till February end in order to get absolute clarity over the same.
Process to register
Election commission (EC) has already started taking oversees citizens voting registration. You can go to election commission official site here and register yourself along with detail of proxy voter. Once the fate of new legislation is finalised, EC might issue further directions to clarify the process in detail.
In our opinion, NRIs being the Indian passport holders have all rights to participate in this dance of democracy. Hence, government and other relevant institutions should provide and facilitate the means for the same.
Let’s do our duty and wish that the best and deserving comes victorious.