Indian expats can appoint proxy to cast vote

Muscat: India’s parliament has passed a bill that proposes to amend the Representation of the People Act, 1951 to enable the nationals staying abroad to appoint proxies to cast their votes in the elections to the federal and provincial assemblies.

Responding to the apprehension of some members that the proxy provision can be misused, the government said rules will be made in such a way that if law is flouted, it will lead to cancellation of the mandate.

The government said migrant workers can at present vote from their original place of living or by satisfying the EC that they were ordinary residents of their place of work.

About the suggestion for introducing e-voting, Prasad said there were a lot of difficulties in it and more advancement in technology will be needed to make a secure architecture.

“In view of the above difficulty faced by the overseas electors, the Government has considered the feasibility of facilitating external mode of voting i.e. voting by proxy, whereby such electors can exercise their franchise from their place of residence abroad,” a statement said.

The bill proposes to amend section 60 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 to enable the overseas electors to appoint a proxy to cast the vote in an election on their behalf, subject to certain conditions to be laid down.

According to a UN survey, India’s diaspora population is the largest in the world with 16 million people from the country living in 2015.