Local Goa News

Friday, June 24, 2016

2200 Goans with Portuguese citizenship could lose voting right

CEO awaits Central communication to delete names from electoral rolls; around 26,500 names of Goans holding dual citizenship already dropped

PANJIM: Uncertainty looms for 2000-odd Goans, who have obtained Portuguese nationality, as the Chief Electoral Office (CEO) is awaiting communication from the Centre before deleting their names from the electoral rolls. So far around 26,500 names of persons who have obtained dual citizenship have been deleted.

“The Central government has recently made some statement in regard to Goans having Portuguese nationality but so far there is no official communication,” CEO Narayan Navti told Herald.
“We have identified nearly 2260 persons who have obtained Portuguese citizenship and as per law their names have to be deleted from the electoral roll. But we are waiting for the final communication from the Centre,” Navti added. The CEO said that till date they have deleted around 26,500 names of Goans holding dual citizenship.
An inter-ministerial committee appointed by the Centre, in a recommendation to the Union Ministry for Home, stated that the issue of dual citizenship should be decided as per the Citizenship Act 1955 and Citizenship Rules 20, warning that Goans, who obtained Portuguese nationality by registering their names in that country’s Central Registry, could lose their Indian citizenship.

However, Union minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiran Rijiju, during a recent visit to the State, had announced the setting up of a central authority to look into the issue.
As per data available with CEO, 2,200 people changed their nationality in Goa in the financial year 2012-13, which works out to an average of six people a day. From January to August 2015, 2,158 people gave up their Indian passports at the regional passport office in Panjim, after acquiring Portuguese passports. The year 2014 saw 1,660 passports being surrendered.
Government statistics claim there are nearly a lakh of Goans who have registered their births in Portugal – a provision offered by the State’s former colonial rulers to those born before liberation in 1961 and to their children. Thousands of names have already been deleted from the electoral roll, losing voting rights.

Herald Goa News

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