With the Centre notifying the amendment to the Representation of People Act, Non Resident Indian can now participate in the electoral process of their country even though they may not be living there and thereby help decide who will rule them.
It may be recalled that the amendment was passed during the monsoon session of the Parliament and was awaiting the President’s asset.
This is of particular significance for Goa as a large number of Goans are working overseas mostly in the Gulf region and for the merchant navy.
Following this notification, the ways and means how Non Resident Indian can register as a voter and exercise his franchise will be worked out.
While the registration as voter will be done during the summary revision of electoral rolls in the place of the NRI’s permanent residence, various options are being explored to enable the NRI to exercise his franchise with postal ballot and voting at the Indian embassy or consulate being the front runners.
Though this amendment will enable the large number of Goans working in the Gulf and other countries in the world, it is not yet clear how those engaged in the merchant navy will be able to participate in the electoral process.
Although there is no specific study undertaken, according to the office of the Commissioner for NRI Affairs in Goa, nearly 45,000 Goans are currently non resident Goans.