The large non-resident Indian community of the United States welcomed the recent decision of the Union Cabinet to extend the proxy vote to the Indians of the overseas territories. “We welcome this movement”
Thomas Abraham, president of the World Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), said. Even an Indian citizen, despite having obtained the green card for more than four decades,
Abraham said that the decision of the Indian government in this regard is a dream come true for people like him and many others.
The Electoral Commission of India (EC) estimates that some 16 million Indian citizens living out of which approximately 70 percent are eligible to vote.
While most of them are in the Middle East, the United States, estimates range from 800,000 to 1,5 million.
An overwhelming majority of them are young people, university students or those with H-1B visas.
“This is a very good move, but you have to understand, what is the process,” said Sanjay Singh, a Ph.D. student at the University of Maryland College Campus Pak, located in one of the suburbs of Washington DC.
Having spoken about it through social media and online, Singh felt that this measure would only be used if NRIs are allowed to vote online.
“This is not the case now,” said Stephen M E, founding president of the Kerala Center in New York. “There is a high probability that delegations of votes are misused.
This could also be for good, “said Stephen, who retains his Indian citizenship despite holding a green card for more than four decades.
The main Senate Commission of India has recently interacted with prominent leaders of the American Indian community in New York and Washington.
Officials at the meeting said the comments were very positive, but many of them have been questions about the process.
The delegation was headed by Deputy Commissioner Elections Umesh and Sinha Elections Deputy Commissioner Sandeep Saxena.
Participants at these meetings welcome EC efforts and agreed to communicate and reach Indian citizens to register to vote, GOPIO said in a statement. In particular, GOPIO adopted a resolution in this regard in 1989.
Community leaders, like Esteban, favored personal vote in Indian diplomatic missions abroad to avoid abuse of proxy delegations.
However, officials of the Election Commission said that this measure could have a logistical problem.
However, they said the American Indians would discuss their observations and concerns with their top leaders.
“We prefer direct voting instead of voting for power. We believe we can find ways to ensure a secure voting process through it.
This is possible, “said Abraham, saying that the lack of a voting process by NRI is a violation of the constitutional rights of Indian citizens living abroad.
Many present at the meetings also expressed their view that overseas Indian citizens (OIC) should improve dual nationality. GOPIO also suggested that adequate representation to policyholders to NRIs in the Indian Parliament.