Should NRIs Be Allowed To Vote Through Proxies?

PUBLISHED ON: September 2, 2017 | Duration: 49 min, 27 sec

Last month, the government took a decision to allow non-resident Indians or NRIs to nominate a proxy to vote in elections. The condition is that both the NRI and the proxy should be from the same constituency and the choice is only confined to elections. While the Parliament is yet to take up the matter and allow it, critics, including former Chief Election Commissioners, have expressed concern that it would violate the model code of secret ballots. If indeed proxy voting is deemed fit to be implemented, then shouldn't the same rule apply to migrants? It should be borne in mind that NRIs already have a legitimate right to vote which was bestowed to them during UPA-II. The only bone of contention was to figure out the modalities. It's true that NRIs have been the flagbearers of Indian culture for decades -- particularly in the US, Gulf countries and in Western Europe, but of late they have been playing an important role in promoting India in their country of residence backed by their growing financial clout. But will proxy voting disrupt the process of voting in India? Will an NRI, notwithstanding their love for their motherland, be able to make judicious choice of selecting the 'right' candidate based on his/her performance without being swayed by party manifestos and ideologies?
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