Postal ballots for NRIs under consideration, says Election Commission
New Delhi: The Election Commission is completely in support of postal ballots for NRIs, a long standing demand of Indians working abroad.
This was clarified by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora in a meeting with Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, who had moved a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court seeking votes for NRIs. The EC also issued a press release stating that providing postal voting facilities to NRIs at the earliest was under its active consideration. The EC also added that it was in contact with the Law and External Affairs ministries in this regard.
Dr Shamsheer Vayalil said that EC’s reaction has given hope and that he expected postal voting for NRIs in the upcoming Assembly polls. Dr Shamsheer Vayalil approached the EC and the government following reports that NRIs from across the globe except Gulf countries would be provided postal voting facilities in the first phase.
During his meeting with Sunil Arora, Dr Shamsheer Vayalil said that reports of Gulf NRIs not being considered for postal voting facility in the first phase were baseless.
As Gulf countries permit facilities for voting for citizens of other countries without returning to their natives, there is no point in the concerns raised by the External Affairs Ministry, said Dr Shamsheer Vayalil. He also pointed out that 18,22,173 Philippine nationals had registered to vote from UAE.
Advocate Haris Beeran, who is presenting the matter in the Supreme Court, also took part in the meeting.