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Posted at: Oct 21, 2019, 6:48 AM; last updated: Oct 21, 2019, 6:48 AM (IST)

Only 25% of overseas Indians voted in 2019 LS poll

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20

A recent data, released by the Election Commission, revealed that only one-fourth of the nearly one lakh overseas Indians, who were registered as voters, flew down to India to exercise their franchise in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

According to the EC, a total of 99,807 overseas Indians, who are living abroad and have not given up on their citizenship here, are on the voters’ lists of various states. These include 91,850 men, 7,943 women and 14 transgenders, it added.

Of these, 25,606 — 24,458 men and 1,148 women — voted in the General Election. In Delhi, 336 overseas Indians, including 231 men and 105 women, had registered as voters but none came to cast their votes, the EC said, adding that the same was the case with Puducherry, where none of the 272 overseas electors cast their votes. In West Bengal too, where 34 overseas Indians were part of the state’s electoral rolls, none voted.

In Kerala, however, the case was entirely different. It has the maximum number of overseas Indians on the voters’ list as well as highest level of participation in the democratic exercise. The EC data revealed Kerala has 85,161 overseas Indians on its electoral rolls and 25,091 exercised their right to vote in the elections.

A Bill to extend the facility of proxy voting to overseas Indians had lapsed with the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha. A Law Ministry proposal to reintroduce the Bill in Parliament is pending approval of the Union Cabinet.

The lapsed Bill proposed that overseas Indians, who are entitled to vote in India, can appoint a proxy voter to cast the ballot on their behalf.

OVER ELECTORAL ROLLS

99,807 overseas Indians living abroad who have not given up on their citizenship are on the voters’ lists of states

25,606  — 24,458 men and 1,148 women — voted in the last General Election.  In Delhi, 336 overseas Indians had registered as voters but none came to cast their votes 

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