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Poonam proposes eight seats for NRIs in Lok Sabha

Poonam Mahajan cites the Constitutional provision for providing representation for the Anglo-Indian community. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty   | Photo Credit: Shanker Chakravarty

The Indian diaspora in various countries abroad plays a large role in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s diplomatic outreach, and now, BJP MP Poonam Mahajan is moving a private member’s Bill in the Lok Sabha seeking nomination of at least eight overseas Indians to the Lower House. “It is the centenary year of Mahatma Gandhi’s return to India from South Africa, I feel, there would be no better opportunity to mark the contributions of our overseas community than to allow representation to them in the Lok Sabha.”

She cites the Constitutional provision for providing representation for the Anglo-Indian community through a nomination by the President of India as a means to do this.

“Just as two members of the Anglo-Indian community are nominated and needn’t fight elections, to address issues regarding their representation, NRIs too can be nominated through a Constitutional amendment,” she says. The move may require a recurring expenditure of Rs. 45 crore per year.

Private member’s Bills reflect individual interests of the members and are rarely cleared by the House. In the tenure of the 16th Lok Sabha however, the Rajya Sabha managed to clear the transgender Bill sponsored by DMK MP Tiruchi Shiva, and it is pending in the Lok Sabha.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 9:22:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/poonam-proposes-eight-seats-for-nris-in-lok-sabha/article7984259.ece

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