Cannot give postal ballot facility to overseas Indian voters in upcoming assembly polls: Government in Lok Sabha

4 months ago 24
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NEW DELHI:

Postal ballot

facility for eligible overseas Indian electors cannot be extended for the upcoming

assembly polls

as the matter is still under discussion with the Ministry of External Affairs to iron out logistical challenges in implementing the proposal,

Lok Sabha

was informed on Wednesday.
Responding to a question, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply that the

Election Commission

had moved a proposal to amend the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 to facilitate Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) for overseas electors.
"Since the matter is still under discussion with the Ministry of External Affairs to iron out the logistical challenges involved in the implementation of the proposal, it will not be possible to extend the said facility to the overseas electors in the upcoming elections to the state legislative assemblies," he said.
West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry are going to assembly polls beginning March 27.
Speaking at an event last week, Chief

Commissioner Sunil Arora had said that after the elections to five assemblies are over, the poll panel would hold a seminar with all stakeholders on the issue of postal ballot facility for overseas voters as suggested by the

government

.
He hoped that the concept would materialise in the next six months or a year.
At present NRIs can vote in the constituency in which their place of residence, as mentioned in the passport, is located. Some time ago Commission began to look for options to enable NRIs to vote from overseas after it received several requests for expanding voting options.

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