Bengalis abroad to miss voting chance in assembly polls

Thursday, February 17, 2011

KOLKATA - Bengalis settled abroad will not be able to cast their ballots in the coming West Bengal assembly elections as the Election Commission has decided against the implementation of their voting rights due to lack of time to complete the process, an official said Thursday.

The Election Commission has decided against the NRIs implementing their voting rights in the coming state assembly polls, as there was no time left to prepare their electoral rolls, said additional chief electoral officer N.K. Sahana.

West Bengal’s chief electoral officer Sunil Gupta Tuesday said Bengalis living abroad will be able to cast their votes provided they are physically present in the state during the polls. But before that, they had to complete the process of enlisting their names in the electoral rolls, he said.

According to the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act passed in November 2010, NRIs would be able to exercise their franchise if they register themselves as voters and be “physically present” with their passports on the polling day.

“The order, issued by the central government, has reached our office today (Thursday), but it will not be implemented in the coming Assembly elections as too little time is left for us to prepare separate electoral rolls for them,” said Sahana.

Filed under: Politics

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