Dubai, Jan 13 (IANS) Around 2.6 million Indians who form one of the largest expatriate communities in the UAE have welcomed the Supreme Court of India’s directive to the central government that NRI voting through e-postal system is implemented in eight weeks.
The Supreme Court Monday asked the government to take steps, within eight weeks, for implementation of e-voting by NRIs after being told that the government has accepted the poll panel’s recommendation to this effect.
Voting rights for Indian expatriates, officials and community workers in the United Srab Emirates received positive reaction from most quarters, the Khaleej Times reported Tuesday.
Indian Ambassador to the UAE T.P. Seetharam said it was a “welcome decision” by the government to accept the recommendations of the Election Commission.
“We hope it will be implemented soon and it will provide an opportunity for all those who wish to vote to participate in the (electoral) process,” he said.
According to him, the embassy was awaiting instructions from the government about the details, especially regarding attestation.
“It is good to see that somebody from the UAE is pursuing this and he is pushing for same rights for all those who are displaced to other places in India and miss the chance since they are not living in their constituencies,” the envoy said.
Advocate Hashik T.K. said: “When NRIs start voting, the political scenarios — even governments — will change in many places, especially in states like Kerala where the difference between the ruling and opposition parties is just a few seats in the assembly, which are won with a margin of a few thousand.”
T.R. Remesh, president of Overseas Friends of Bharatiya Janata Party (OFBJP), said the biggest change that the move would bring was that “all Indian expatriates, including the blue-collar workers and middle class people, will get the same importance”.
K.V. Shamsudheen, chairman of Pravasibandhu Welfare Trust, said the Election Commission and media must hold massive campaigns to create awareness on the need and method of voting.