Tuesday November 19, 2019
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Over 1 crore NRIs could soon get right to vote

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

To offer NRIs the right to exercise their franchise by e-postal ballots or through proxy voting, the government on Tuesday called for an all-party meeting to discuss the proposal.

Law Minister, DV Sadananda Gowda, acknowledged the demand of Opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha that their views should be taken into consideration while enacting legislation to award voting rights to NRIs and domestic migrant labours.

Leader of Opposition, Ghulam Nabi Azad, moved a motion in the house on this issue. Gowda, in response to the motion, said that the government was working on the Election Commission report regarding voting rights of over one crore NRIs and not as directed by the Supreme Court.

The debate heated up as the Opposition members blamed the government that it is acting against the Supreme Court’s directions. Azad said that the Opposition is not against the voting rights for NRIs, but it is the way the government has moved the proposal without even discussing it with the political parties.

“Today government has said goodbye to all consultation process. Parliament is being made aware of developments from newspaper reports. It has become the habit of the government to bypass the Parliament and the standing committees. When we object, we are being criticised,” said Azad.

Gowda stated that the report advocated the options of the e-postal ballot system and proxy voting. “E-postal and postal ballot voting methodologies are being worked out for the voting rights of the NRIs,” he said.

On the other hand, the minister agreed for an all party meeting as insisted by DMK, BJD, CPI, AIADMK, SP and JD-U. Gowda said, “I (will) request Election Commision to hold all party meeting to get their feedback.”

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Facebook Alerts People to Vote on Maharashtra, Haryana Poll Day

Google has also introduced a series of steps to urge the netizens and first-time users in the country to register to vote in the country

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FILE - The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

Facebook on Monday activated its election notification feature for India, requesting people to go out and vote for their candidates in the Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly polls and post that they have voted.

Voting started in Maharashtra for the 288-Assembly constituencies, while over 1.83 crore voters in BJP-ruled Haryana are to cast their votes to elect the 90-member legislative Assembly.

Facebook began sending notifications from the morning to its over 300 million users in India, saying “get information about voting and share that you’ve voted.”

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The social networking giant in April joined other social media companies in a voluntary code of ethics for the elections with the Election Commission of India (ECI).

It included measures like a dedicated communications channel for notice and take down after receiving valid legal order, processing of valid requests in the blackout period ahead of voting and voter education efforts.

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The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

“Facebook recently launched two new products in India to help people learn about issues they care about and engage with candidates and elected officials in meaningful ways,” Facebook India Vice President and Managing Director Ajit Mohan said in a blog post.

“Candidate Connect” is designed to give voters accurate information and help people learn more about different candidates.

“Share You Voted” lets people share with friends that they’ve cast their ballots in the elections.

“The products have been customised, based on what we’ve learned from local research, including the community’s desire to hear directly from their candidates,” said Mohan.

Google has also introduced a series of steps to urge the netizens and first-time users in the country to register to vote in the country. (IANS)