"So far, they haven’t participated much in elections, except
having a scant knowledge about India, especially in the Middle
"It’s obvious that this will result in closer ties with
"Indian political parties will send delegations and even open
their offices abroad to solicit support from these Indian
Citizens," said Praful Patel who attended the Pravasi Bharatiys
Divas conference just held.
Sanjay Kadia of the
Overseas Friends of BJP UK wrote:
"It’s a known fact that most Indians living outside India
vote with a patriotic mind-set and support BJP’s motto of
"This can now help in more BJP victories all over India
which translates to further development and growth for
entire India and less of Congress style sycophancy and
Omkar Nath Channan, a
retired judicial officer in Canada, believes that overseas
Indian voters will make very little difference in the results.
Wealthy NRIs strive for recognition in India and they will
get it by voting.
"It will further encourage party politics in their countries.
He commented, "India’s decision to allow NRIs to vote from
abroad is in line with nationals of other countries living in
Canada and USA.
"This move will increase very little interest in Indian
"Their main object is to get maximum advantage or a pressure
tool to make good of their investments in India."
A Kenya Indian businessman,
Amrit Shah, said:
"We are very close to PM Modi and have supported him as
Chief Minister of Gujarat where we come from.
"Now that we have got the vote, the Indian citizens in
Kenya and East Africa will make a special effort to cast
"We visit Gujarat often and we have seen the development
in our state.
"Now this development will cover all of India under
Modi’s government and so we want to support it.
"Voting rights for NRIs will prompt leaders of all
political parties to visit overseas Indians to attract their
votes and so it will offer us more opportunities to meet
them and discuss India’s progress and what they can promise
and try to achieve," he said.
A chartered accountant in Melbourne,
Sudershan Gupta, maintains that Indian passport
holding NRIs have been ignored too long as far as their say in
Indian political scene was concerned.
"The right to vote will bring them back into the Indian
"During the recent visits of PM Modi, NRIs have amply
displayed their loyalty to India.
"They are up-to-date with main events in India.
"They will now be approached by politicians for their votes.
"So, they will oblige by voting in large numbers.
"However, NRIs will not be able to make a difference in an
election result. But they may be heard in making a policy
"At the local level, NRIs may not achieve much.
"But on a national level, political parties may be compelled
to look after NRI interests to increase their chances of
"They would like NRIs to vote for their candidates.
"By voting in elections, NRIs will send more money to India
as well to help their candidates and to develop their
constituency since they have a stake in it."
Voting in Indian elections gives the Indian Diaspora a
sense of recognition that their cultural identity, an
Indian-ness, is valued in India, said
Chaman Lal Chaman, a veteran radio and TV
broadcaster, from London.
He said: "NRIs are finally getting their say through the
"This is certainly very good news for overseas Indians
who have always complained that their land of birth has
turned its back on them.
"Previous governments have paid little or no attention to
the calls by NRIs to be able to vote in Indian elections.
He added: "I don’t think they will vote in large numbers,
my reasons lie in the EC’s conditions and procedures.
"Indian Diaspora voter can make a good difference in
elections, especially in marginal seats.
"Regional, cultural and religious loyalties relating to
the choice of a candidate can influence the result.
"For instance, if a candidate happens to be from a
certain village, NRIs of that village and surrounding areas
are more likely to support that candidate not only by voting
for him but also by sending cash and campaigning for him in
their country of residence.
"NRIs have been following Indian elections mostly through
electronic and print media.
"Asian radio and TV channels and papers have been providing
"Some NRIs have been visiting India during elections and
helping candidates in their election campaigns with their
presence and financial support according to their loyalty and
"This has been observed in Punjab in the past when NRIs were
not even to vote. Now this will gather momentum," he said.
"E ballot procedure seems to be a preferable choice but the
condition of applying six months before the expiry of the House
will discourage a lot of eligible voters to vote.
"The procedure seems to be rather cumbersome and
"This does not encourage NRIs to vote in large numbers in the
UK as they are so used to simple British procedure.
"Here, all Commonwealth citizens can just go to a polling
station and cast their vote.
"In most cases, no one is even asked to produce a proof of
"The Indian procedure denies this simplicity and convenience
to which NRIs are so much used to.
"Recent arrivals of NRIs are more likely to vote," he added.
Shamlal Puri, a
London-based senior journalist and author, commented:
"By casting their votes NRIs will feel closer to India
because many of them have complained that the fact they are
living and earning their broad and butter abroad should not
disqualify them from exercising their rights to have a say
in the affairs of their land of birth or ancestors.
"In places like the UK, many NRIs complain of
discrimination and being side-lined by the British.
"You hear heard comments like "hum log na idhar ke, na
udhar ke" (We are neither Britons nor Indians).
"They complained that when visiting India, Indians call
them British and when they come to Britain, Britons call
"So, the voting rights give NRIs a sense of belonging.
"There are many good reasons for them to vote in large
"They feel their votes can make some difference.
"There are many NRIs who have savings or business interests
in India and their votes will go some way in protecting their
interests - though this is a long shot.
"In NRI gatherings, the talk is always about how ‘rotten’ the
system is in India.
"They often narrate heartbreak stories of how the system let
them down and how the legal system had denied them justice.
"They may raise their voice against these ills and probably
help the custodians to wake up and smell the coffee before
investors take their investments to other countries.
"Indians living abroad are frankly, by-standers who remain on
the side-lines criticising the system; now this move will give
them a chance to participate actively.
"It will get rid of their apathy.