Only 10 NRIs voter in state, all from Kundapur

Only 10 NRIs voter in state, all from Kundapur

For the first time, 10 people from Kundapur in Udupi district have registered as Non-Resident Indian (NRI) voters for the Assembly elections. PTI file photo for representation

They filed their details under Form-6A which is meant for NRIs. These NRIs, residing in Gulf countries, will be casting their vote in Kundapur constituency. They have taken special leave to fly down to India and cast their votes.

Mohammed Sakib, 34, who works in Abu Dabi, has planned his schedule in such a way that he decided to get married and also cast his vote. “I am an Indian and it is my duty to vote. Besides, this is the first time I am going to vote. Earlier, even though I stayed in India I was unable to vote as I was always travelling. But, not anymore,” he said.

According to officials from Election Commission and NRI Forum Karnataka, this does not mean that there are only 10 NRIs who would be voting. “There are over 14 lakh NRIs residing in various parts of the world, but these 10 have identified themselves as NRIs and enrolled again,” said Arathi Krishna, deputy chairperson, NRI Forum Karnataka.

Explaining the process, Suryasen A V, Joint Chief Electoral Officer (CEO)-2, said that there is no proxy voting provision for NRIs. They have to come down to vote.

Adding to this, Ramesh K N, Joint CEO-1, said not many people are aware that they have to enrol themselves in a separate form. The amendment to include NRIs was introduced in 2015-16 and since then it is for the first time a list of ten has been prepared. The remaining NRIs are listed under the general category to cast their vote.

Another election official said that a proposal was pending before the Centre to allow proxy voting or postal ballot system for NRIs.