Candidates Offering Free Air Ticket to NRIs for Casting Vote Will Face Disqualification: Election CommissionMarch 18, 2019 15:52
(Image source from: Connected to India)
Ahead of Lok Sabha elections in India, the Election Commission of India (ECI) is issuing stringent mandates to steer clear of anything below the belt.
Similarly, any candidate canvassing for votes overseas found luring Non-Resident Indian (NRI) voters with a free air ticket to cast vote may lose his/her candidature or end up in jail, election commission warned.
In exhaustive guidelines laid out by the EC on the conduct of candidates and voters in the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections, the top poll conducting authority has said the candidate was free to go overseas for canvassing.
"All expenditure incurred by those candidates, their party agents or party leaders on their travel, boarding, lodging etc. who travel to overseas countries for the purpose of canvassing in their favour to seek votes of overseas electors residing there, would be deemed to be the expenditure incurred or authorized by the candidates in connection with their election and will have to be included in their account of election expenses," the EC said.
"Moreover, any inducement to overseas electors by way of air tickets or any other allurements to them, in cash or kind, to come to India for the purpose of voting at the election would amount to the electoral offence of ‘bribery’ within the meaning of section 171B of the IPC as also the corrupt practice of ‘Bribery’ within the meaning of section 123(1) of the Representation of the People Act.”
There are 71,735 overseas electors enrolled in the current electoral rolls in India.
The EC has made it clear that there is no provision of online voting or proxy voting yet for NRIs. All the NRI voters will have to travel in person to India carrying Indian passport as identity proof to cast their vote, go to the booth where the person’s details are registered and vote.
By Sowmya Sangam