The Lok Sabha, on Friday, passed a bill to amend the Representation of the People Act to allow proxy voting to non-resident Indians (NRI) in elections. 

Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the authority had received several complains from NRIs saying that they were not able to vote in elections. 

He also said, by pointing out that the Constitution has given the right to vote to all Indians, NRIs have made a place for themselves with their hard work and no one should dismiss their contribution as their commitment is remarkable.

According to The Ministry of External Affairs, there are about 3.10 crore NRIs living in different countries across the world.
Prasad said that the Election Commission was coming up with a foolproof plan. Currently, he said, the NRIs could vote from their original place of living after proving that they were ordinary residents of their place of work.

However, opposition members voiced concerns about this new amendment, especially with the word “proxy”. AIADMK leader R Gopalakrishnana said he was doubtful if the proxy would be loyal and vote for the candidate that the NRI had chosen. 

Shiv Sena MP Anadrao Adsul raised the concern how the proxy would cast his or her vote since the Constitution allowed one vote a person. 

Moreover, Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo of BJD asked how the Election Commission would ensure accurate registration of voters. He also said smaller parties would not be able to survive the competition as they could not propagate to the NRIs. 

Replying to the questions, Prasad asked everyone to trust the judgement of the NRIs and said he believed that they could not be lured to sell their votes.