Pravasi Divas promise fulfilled: NRIs can now vote and contest

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by anoop_mig25, Feb 4, 2011.

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should NRI`s be allowed to vote as well as allowed to run for elections

  1. should allowed to vote only(/should be debarred form standinh in elctions)

    4 vote(s)
    26.7%
  2. should be allowed to vote as well as /allow to stand in elections election

    7 vote(s)
    46.7%
  3. should not be allowed to vote

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. should not be allowed for vote or stand for elections

    4 vote(s)
    26.7%
  1. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Pravasi Divas promise fulfilled: NRIs can now vote and contest
    Maneesh Chhibber Posted: Fri Feb 04 2011 New Delhi:

    The government on Thursday notified rules that allow non-resident Indians (NRIs) who fulfill certain criteria to vote in elections in India. The Registration of Electors (Amendment) Rules, 2011 also allow NRIs to, by extension, stand for elections in India.
    The notification fulfills one of the longest standing demands of the 11 million-plus NRI community, and is in line with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s announcement at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas last year that holders of Indian passport living abroad could get the right to vote by the time of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

    Currently, no person can be on the voters’ list if he or she remains outside the country for more than six months at a stretch.

    The rules, read with the Representation of the People Act, also give NRIs the right to contest elections. Under the provisions of the Act, a person eligible to vote in a constituency is also eligible to contest from that constituency. “Since the new rules are silent on this count, it means that NRIs would also be allowed to contest elections,” said an Election Commission official.

    “It was an assurance given to NRIs by the Prime Minister. By issuing the revised rules, we are only fulfilling that commitment,” Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily told The Indian Express.

    Under the revised rules, NRIs holding Indian passports, who have not acquired or applied for citizenship of another country, and who satisfy the electoral officer of the area/locality cited as address in his passport, will be allowed to vote in elections in India.

    The government has also issued a form that NRIs can fill and send to the electoral officer along with the necessary documents to be registered for voting.

    As of now, the NRI voter will have to be present in the polling station on the date of polling to exercise his franchise. However, sources told The Indian Express that the government is not averse to allowing NRIs to votes electronically or by postal ballot.
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    how many of those on dfi support this.whats benefit . i only see benefit of political party who are going to receive large amount of donations . for me its big No
     
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  3. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    Individuals who were born in India,to Indian parents,living in foreign countries,but not duly recognized as citizens of that country,or not in the process of applying for or receiving foreign nationality,are the only ones who should be held eligible to take part in the election process in India.

    Those who have taken up foreign nationality,or where born to indian parents but themselves are foreign citizens or people of Indian origin(PIO) should not have the right to take part in the election process.
     
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    An Indian Citizen who stays abroad for employment/carrying on business or vocation outside India or stays abroad under circumstances indicating an intention for an uncertain duration of stay abroad is a non-resident. (Persons posted in U.N. Organisations and Officials deputed abroad by Central/State Governments and Public Sector undertakings on temporary assignments are also treated as non-residents). Non –Resident foreign citizens of Indian Origin are treated on par with non-resident Indian Citizens (NRIs) for the purpose of certain facilities.
    http://www.vakilno1.com/nri/taxation/definitions.htm

    I wonder how much of the contemporary reality of India and its effect on the common man, a person who holds Indian passport but stays and works abroad will know'

    For instance, a rather well to do NRI who has lived and is living abroad know or care about the havoc the food inflation is doing for the common Indian since it does not effect his life? He would be more interested in the GDP figures that are given by Govt and its agencies.

    Therefore, his vote will not indicate the aspiration of the Nation, but the aspiration of the Nation as seen by those living away far.

    A difficult call!

    Catch 22 because the NRI having an Indian passport is still an Indian, whether he returns or not!
     
  5. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    I support this. No tax without representation. Anyone who is a taxpayer must have the right to vote. I would like to point out, much of the tax money is used for medical purposes, maintaining and building infrastructure, police etc. While many NRIs have been paying taxes, they are not reaping much benefit out of the government.

    Being an NRI should not translate into funding the Indian government, which has been, hitherto, collecting tax money from many NRIs, was not having to afford many services that would typically come out of the tax money to these very NRIs, and yet suo motu denying them their right to vote.

    Citizenship? Yes one has to be a citizen. It does not matter if that person is in the process of, or has applied for, attaining another country's citizenship. If dual citizenship is allowed, which I believe should have been done long back, then as long as a person is an Indian citizen, regardless of whether he has the citizenship of another country, must be allowed to vote. Why? Simply because, a person who has not given up his Indian citizenship, has probably done so, because he will come back to India or spend a lot of time in India periodically. Such persons do have a say in how the government of India should run.
     
  6. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    This is not imp what is imp is dual citizenship.we NRI's contribute lot in Indian economy and this Indian govt looting us. PIO card fees is 400 Euros. when we get foreign passport we have to surrender Indian passport and the fess is 200 euros.if u go to Indian embassy abroad. i feel pity on the condition of our embassies. they don't have water dispenser machine.
     
  7. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    I dont think India recognizes dual citizenship,i e its citizen also holding the citizenship of a foreign state,thus such individuals cannot exercise some of the core privileges that an indian citizen enjoys,like electing his representative.
     
  8. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Dual citizen can exercise right to vote in both countries. Indian govt does't want to give dual citizenship coz they want to make money from PIO card and passport return keeping in mind the population of NRI's around the world. I assume there will be 10 millions Nri's around the world
     
  9. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    The interpretation is that, as per the Representation of the people act,any one who has the right to vote also has the right to stand for public office.While this stands a public representative cannot owe allegiance or swear fealty to two different countries,which is a requisite character of his job.Thus dual citizen ship and running or voting for representative is riddled with insurmountable constitutional problems........

    However i agree that the facilities provided through OCI(overseas citizen of India) and PIO(person of indian origin)should be made affordable and should be in all things purposeful for the Individual seeking to engage the country of his heritage.
     
  10. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    That would knock off >90% of India's population. Ironically it is the votes of the non tax payers that determines the final outcome in India's electoral process.
     
  11. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Good point. GoI likes to make money out of everything. When they overtax you, and you file for returns, you get nothing back. I am probably one in several million to whom GoI owes money back.

    Good point. Let the NRI's keep paying tax, and sending remittances while those in home turf call the shots. Classing example of shooting off someone else's shoulders.
     
  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    NRIs pay taxes?

    Well, if they invest in India, then shouldn't they?

    Send remittance home?

    For charity or to support their interests in India?

    I would like to be educated as to how NRIs are shovelling money into India because they love India and are not doing so to keep alive their own interests in India.

    Well, I am not being obtuse, it is just that maybe I don't know the details and cannot understand how NRIs are doing what they are doing.

    Hence, I would love to be educated on this issue.
     
  13. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    No, as of now, it does not. This has to change. It should have been done long back. For that you need a constitutional amendment bill. How is that ever going to happen unless NRI's who have Indian citizenship are allowed to vote?

    Is that even a valid argument? Voting is a right not a privilege. And responsibilities come with right. No responsibilities, no rights. Many live in India, don't pay any taxes at all, sometimes steal peoples money, stash them in Swiss Banks and yet vote and contest elections. Then there are some who would diligently fill out all the paper work, file for tax returns (often get nothing back even if it was legitimate), and then they simply stand and watch while the non-taxpayers reap the benefits that come out of tax money.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011
  14. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Just one clarification: NRI does not necessarily mean people who have given up Indian citizenship. Those who are citizens, still pay taxes and file for returns.

    The point is not why NRI's are sending remittances, and the right to vote is not by virtue of remittances, but by virtue of (1) being a citizen of India and (2) paying taxes, the benefits of which are typically not afforded to the NRIs themselves.
     
  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    If a person has not relinquished his Indian nationality, he should be allowed to vote. However, should he not spend sometime in India let us say over a three year period to understand the desires of the locals since his vote will make a difference to local Indians, even though it may not make any difference to his where he is living?



    Chaps not paying taxes or having Swiss bank accounts flouting law is a matter of laxity in governance. It is an administrative issue.


    NRIs who are Indian citizens should be allowed to vote, but they should have residence for sometime before the next election to have an idea of the desires of the common Indian. Reading of it is not adequate since the information read maybe motivated or sponsored.
     
  16. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    As far as remittance being made into some holy cow is what some posters have allude to as the raison d'etre for equal rights with Indians residing in India.

    Post 3# which is mine gives a general idea as to who is an NRI.
     
  17. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    ^^ Agree. Yes, remittances are usually sent to family or friends, not to GoI.
     
  18. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    That is why I mentioned it for those who wish to make it appear as a icon of great virtue and love for their land of birth!

    One should not make one appear to be a martyr!

    We should discuss rationally and with facts.

    There are good reasons why NRI who are Indian citizens being allowed to vote. The last time it was said that it was not possible since it was too huge an administrative exercise that it was not possible.

    I believe the US ensures that all US citizens all over the world can vote for their elections.

    And why should NRIs not be allowed to stand for elections? They must be allowed if they are Indian citizens.
     
  19. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    Duties and sacrosanct rights of a citizen,are in principle independent of one another and as such exercising one or vice versa does not negate or establish the other respectively.Not paying your taxes may represent a behavior that contravenes the law,but does not rob the citizen the right to citizenship or receive the protection and rights the citizenship entails.Voting is a right only exercised by a citizen,a status which does not accompany as a result of paying a state for its services.


    P.S:I personally discourage the habit of quoting single phrase or a line out of its original context and then making it basis of an argument,it steals the essence of the matter.I hope and request that my posts are not subjected to that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
  20. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    NRIs are those who hold Indian passport but live in foreign lands for job/business/study or other purpose. Constitutionally and technically they are Indians as they have not renounced their citizenship and therefore they should be allowed all the rights that an Indian citizen has including voting rights.

    People who are arguing that NRIs should not be allowed to vote because they don't stay in India doesn't make sense as they still have stake in India and its development. Just think, how many Indians don't pay tax but still vote - I think it will be a huge percentage given the income levels of majority of the population. The only taxes these people pay is sales tax and in that sense NRIs who send money back to their home are also indirectly paying sales tax by increasing the purchasing power of the folks back home. In that sense, NRIs should be allowed the right to vote for as long as they don't renounce Indian citizenship and holds a Indian passport.
     
  21. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Why do people have voting rights?

    Because it is government is for the people, by the people and of the people.

    Therefore, unless one is living in India (or at least staying a few months to realise the situation) and experiencing the bad governance or good governance, how will the lot of the common man experiencing such governance change?

    Lord Paul and Lord Noon may hold Indian passports (hypothetically speaking), but would such Lords enjoying the comforts of good governance of UK experience the misery of abject corruption faced by the common man in India? Therefore, will their votes reflect the desires of the people of India who are facing the abject corruption and poor governance? And isn't democracy all about = of the people, for the people and by the people?

    Even if one observes the posts on this forum, quite a few NRIs judge India by superimposing their ideas garnered from the country the live in. And these people will vote and it will be counted as the vote that will decide the fate of India! Would this influence of superimposing of foreign ideas as the judgement for a vote be practical to solve the woes of the common man of India who is living and experience the fallout of governance?

    The NRIs are doing no favour by sending money home as I understand. They are only furthering their own interests in India be it to look after their relatives or their own financial interests. Therefore, that is hardly any grounds to claim as an indicator to rights. They have a stake in their own financial health in India and it is not correct to feel that they are doing so only because they want to have a stake in India's development. Bill Gates, a non Indian, with his philanthropic ventures, has more stake in India's development as one sees it!

    It is like the diamond clad socialite doing 'service' in slums, by distributing food packets of their social organisation once in a while and feeling that they have done service to the society.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011

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