New Delhi: No proposal is under consideration of the government to provide proxy voting facility to NRIs, Lok Sabha was informed on Friday.
"...no such proposal is under consideration," said Law Minister Kiren Rijiju in a written reply while responding to a question on whether the government is considering to provide the facility of proxy voting to Non-Resident Indians (NRIs).
In August, 2018, the previous Lok Sabha had passed a bill to allow proxy voting rights to eligible overseas Indians. But the bill could not be brought in Rajya Sabha.
In 2020, the Election Commission had proposed to the Law Ministry to extend the Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) facility, so far available only to service voters, to eligible overseas Indian voters as well.
It would require changes in the election rules. But the government has so far not taken a call on the issue.
The EC had told the government that it has been receiving several representations from the Indian diaspora residing abroad to facilitate voting through postal ballots since such overseas electors are not in a position to be present in their polling area as travelling to India for this purpose is a costly affair, and they cannot leave the country of their residence owing to specific compulsions of employment, education or other engagements.
As of now, overseas Indians have to register as voter, come to India, go to their constituency with the original passport issued to them when they had gone abroad and cast their votes.