Wednesday 26 October 2016

BJP Bats for Ease of Voting for NRIs, Cong, Left Oppose Idea

New Delhi

Congress and Left parties have vehemently opposed a suggestion by BJP for the easing of the voting process for NRIs to ensure their participation in elections in India.

A meeting of representatives of various political parties was convened by Election Commission (EC) here on Saturday to elicit their views regarding the easing of the voting process for NRIs.

Although BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who represented his party at the EC meeting, favoured an easier voting mechanism for NRIs, Congress, CPI-M, CPI and NCP opposed any move to allow internet or proxy voting for Indians living abroad.

Senior leaders Vayalar Ravi and Ajay Maken represented Congress while NCP registered its opposition to the move in writing.

"EC should prepare a comfortable mechanism to ensure NRIs exercise their voting rights in the country's electoral process," BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told PTI.

Congress suggested that instead of being allowed to cast their vote online, polling booths can be set up at Indian embassies abroad where NRIs can come and exercise their franchise.

The Congress argument was that adopting internet voting for Indian voters living abroad would open a floodgate of problems. Any such provision will be violative of the secret ballot principle and also amount to bringing disparities into facilities provided to all voters, the party added.

Congress said that the process will not be foolproof and can lead to manipulation.

The EC meeting was held in response to a Supreme Court directive asking the poll panel to submit a report on the issue.

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