NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha has passed The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which provides legal sanction to proxy voting by NRIs who are registered to vote.
Proxy voting allows an NRI to nominate an individual in the constituency where he originally comes from, to vote on his or her behalf. As of now, overseas Indians were free to cast their votes in the constituencies where they were registered. The option of proxy voting was till now only available to service personnel.
Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the provision would help NRIs participate in the electoral process.
Why it’s significant
* With 543 Lok Sabha constituencies, 1.1 crore NRIs mean an average of 21,000 NRI votes per constituency.
* Plus, NRIs can also influence families back home in India.
* With winning margins going down with every election, that’s significant.
* There are about one crore NRIs in the countries that PM Modi has visited since Nov 2014.
* A couple of thousands he may have met through events on his trips abroad.
* Nationalism resonates with the NRI audience.
Plus, he is the only campaigner in this constituency of goodwill.