UP Polls: NRIs may not contribute much in deciding fate of state
The Commission explained the reason of large number of non-registered candidates as,"The major chunk of the diaspora is settled in the Middle East and the Gulf. Some migrant workers are not even allowed to keep their passports with them. It becomes difficult to contact such scattered groups
Lucknow: It is a known fact that Uttar Pradesh plays a vital role in Indian politics. Having a major share of India's voting population, the state is wooed by all political leaders during election times and all major political parties of the country, at least once, try to enter the state by forming their government here.
With a huge number of electorate in the state, the facts that come out during the preparations of polling sometimes stand to be bizzare.
The assembly election dates have been announced and the official work of updating the voter's list and enrolment of new voters has revealed a surprising fact. With sizeable fraction of the 2.5 crore non-resident Indians (NRIs) spread across the world, only one NRI out of the state's total voting population of 13,43,51,297 would be eligible to vote when the state goes to the polls in a few weeks.
"The rest are not enrolled in the register maintained by the Election Commission of India," said the officials.
Uttar Pradesh's NRI population:
- State's NRI population has grown exponentially over the past few years.
- According to the data provided by the Union ministry of external affairs 1.4 lakh citizens of UP got emigration clearance in 2010 while the number shot up to 2.29 lakh in year 2014.
- The data said that only one NRI from the state's Meerut city was enrolled as an overseas voter.
What the Election Commission said:
- UP Election Commission informed that the government has provided facilities to the overseas voters to registering themselves online. "NRIs can get enrolled online, and local authorities will verify their credentials after meeting their relatives and spouses in their home districts," a senior official of UP election Commission said.
- NM Batoria, NRI electorate incharge of the EC said in a statement, "Getting NRIs to enrol as overseas voters has been a challenge for the Election Commission (EC). We are in touch with the MEA and Indian embassies to create awareness among the sizeable NRI population."
- Expressing his disappoinment oevr the fact Bhatoria stated that "Despite our special programmes, we haven't achieved concrete and satisfactory results. We are still conducting meetings with Indian representatives abroad to increase the enrollment of NRIs."
- The Commission explained the reason of large number of non-registered candidates as,"The major chunk of the diaspora is settled in the Middle East and the Gulf. Some migrant workers are not even allowed to keep their passports with them. It becomes difficult to contact such scattered groups."
- Bhatoria also stated that the Commission has asked the officials in the embassies acrooss the world to pave out the way for the dioffculty. "officials posted at our embassies and high commissions have to show more enthusiasm in getting our diaspora to enroll. The EC can only assist them in this," Batoria said.
Total overseas voters registered by EC:
- The Election Commission has a number of 11,846 NRI voters registered with them out of which...
- 11,448 are registered in Kerela.
- 138 have been registered in Punjab.
- 112 have been registered in Tamil Nadu.
- 56 in Puducherry.
- 13 in Delhi.
- Daman and Diu have nine registered NRI voters.
- There are many other states who have registered NRI voters.
It may be recalled that Uttar Pardesh assembly elections are scheduled to take place between February 11 to March 8 and the results would be declared on March 11. The polling would would be conducted in seven phases on 403 assembly seats.