Congress welcomes grant of voting rights to NRIs.
Sukhpal Singh Khaira
Nov. 25, 2010
Sukhpal Singh Khaira,MLA, Bholath
Congress welcomes grant of voting rights to NRIs. The people of Punjab and the congress party welcome the landmark and historic decision of the UPA govt. led by Dr. Manmohan Singh to grant voting rights to Non Resident Indians (NRIs). As we are aware millions of people of Indian origin reside in various countries and of those a large number are Punjabi’s. Therefore, by passing the Representation of People (Amendment) Bill 2010 during the mansoon session of Parliament and issuing a gazette notification to this effect, the govt. has brought cheers to all NRIs across the globe.
As far as the progressive Punjabi community is concerned, going by rough estimates approx. 5 million Punjabi’s are residing abroad which is nearly one fifth of Punjabi’s population. Granting voting rights to NRIs would mean including them in the policy and decision making process of our country.
It is particularly a welcome decision for my constituency of Bholath which alone has over 50,000 people abroad and that electoral rolls were shrinking in Bholath due to huge exodus of citizens to various countries. Now as per notification all those having Indian passports, who have not taken citizenship of another country are entitled to vote.
By according voting rights to NRIs the govt. of Indian has acceded to a long pending demand of the NRIs. I feel with this step the NRIs would become a part and parcel of our mainstream politics. All political parties and candidates would from henceforth accord top priority to the problems of the NRIs and mere lip service would not be sufficient.