Couple of days back, Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, reminded NRI that they can vote in Indian elections. We had won this right in 2010 itself, when the Representation of People act was amended. But NRIs have to be physically present in Indiato vote in the Indian election.
The question is, how many of us will actually bother to do so? Will we undertake a travel plan to India for voting in the election? NRIs were first allowed to register in last year’s local elections, which took place in five Indian states. Kerala is the only state where NRIs bothered registering at all. A total of 8,000 NRI Keralites registered of which only very few voted.
Unless government make more provisions for voting other than being physically present, the scheme will doubtfully be a failure. Some countries offer even more options, even in UK, you are eligible to delegate someone else to vote on your behalf.
Hope Election Commission takes adequate steps to ensure that they can set up polling stations in embassy or vote through mail option; else this is another good initiative that will not pick up.