No postal ballot facility for overseas voters in upcoming assembly elections: Centre in Lok Sabha

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NEW DELHI: Union law minister

Ravi Shankar Prasad

said on Wednesday in the

Lok Sabha

that it would not be possible for the government to extend the

postal ballot facility

to the eligible overseas Indian voters. The matter is still under discussion with the

ministry of external affairs

to iron out logistical challenges in implementing the proposal, he added.
In a written reply to a question, Prasad said 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 election 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, the Election Commission began to look for options to enable NRIs to vote from overseas after it received several requests for expanding voting options.
(With agency inputs)

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