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Lok Sabha passed Bill to enable NRIs to appoint proxy to cast vote

New Delhi, Aug 9: The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed a bill that proposes to amend the Representation of the People Act, 1951 to enable the overseas electors to appoint proxies to cast their votes in the elections to Lok Sabha and state assemblies. Replying to the debate on the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2017, Law Minister Ravi Shankar said it was a “momentous event” and a big opportunity was being given to non-resident Indians (NRIs). He said the constitution makers had given the right to vote to all Indians and as such the NRIs also had the right. “Let us not deride the contribution of NRIs. They have made a place for themselves by their hard work. Their commitment to India is truly remarkable,” he said. Responding to the apprehension of some members that the proxy provision can be misused, he said rules will be made in such a way that if law is flouted, it will lead to cancellation of the mandate. Responding to members’ concerns about migrant workers, Prasad said the Election Commission was already working on it. “Our sympathy is with them. They should be given the right to vote,” he said. (IANS)