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Dual Citizenship Issue – Deletion of names from electoral rolls will commence soon

Image for Representational purpose only (Source:THEGOAN)

With nearly 40 thousand Goans suppose to have been registered their births in Portugal before and after the liberation has created very serious issue of dual citizenship in the state. The figure includes the politicians, police personnel, bureaucrats and common man. To take the action against this, government of Goa has decided to delete the names of those citizens who have opted for the Portuguese passport from the electoral rolls of Goa.

According to the sources this operation of deleting the names have been stated almost 7 years back but then it came to halt for some time but now government is planning to restart the process again and continue to delete the names of the people from the electoral role who have opted for the Portuguese citizenship. Based on the news published by the local daily, the chief electoral officer (CEO) will take the action in this issue and will move the names of such people from the electoral rolls from August 2015. This will invalidate the office memorandum of maintaining the staus quo in this issue, sent by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to the state commission of NRI affairs the month of May 2015.

It may be recalled that the news published earlier by us where we have mentioned that NRI office had been informed by the centre to maintain the status quo in this matter as regards to the Portuguese passport and citizenship issue till the government reach to the final decision in this issue. The B K Prasad Committee, which is looking into all the aspects related to the issue, is expected to submit its report to the central government, later this month. The joint chief electoral officer of Goa, Narayan Navati has told the media on Monday that this process of revision of electoral roll is the usual process which starts in the month of August every year and ends in the month of December. “Among other things, we also carry out the deletion of names of such people from the electoral rolls, during their revision,” he added

Elaborating further on this issue, Navati said that once the revision of electoral rolls starts in August, all the information related to this is collected during this time which is followed by the objections and suggestions which are invited from the public and then the revision takes place which get completed by the month of December. “We then print the revised electoral rolls in the month of January, next year,” he said.

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Navati also informed that the office of the chief electoral officer will collect the information of the local voters who possess the Portuguese nationality from the state superintendent of the police (Foreigners Branch) “Once we confirm about the dual nationality status of the local voters, we start elimination of their names from the electoral rolls,” he added. It is also revealed that during the past decade more than 10,000 names of the such foreign nationals have been sent to the chief electoral officer by the foreigners branch which is also known as FRRO.

Meanwhile, the South Goa MP, Narendra Sawaikar has requested the central government to amend the Indian Citizenship Act to safeguard interest of Goans who either desired to move to Portugal or preferred to stay back in Goa. Sawaikar had also maintained that the decision of the Ministry of Home Affairs to maintain a status quo in the matter will have no bearing on the related cases pending before various courts. As mentioned earlier in this article, as per the available government statistics, there are around 40,000 Goans who have registered their births in Portugal, but do not possess a Portuguese passport or bilhete de identidade. These Goans include those who are holding Portuguese passports as well as those who have acquired Portuguese nationality. The issue of dual citizenship has been hounding all these people, including legislators Caetano ‘Caitu’ Silva and Glenn Ticlo, besides at least 50 senior government officials.

Source: NT

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