According to sources besides running high pitched campaigns in India, major political parties have also been sharpening their political messaging to woo the NRI community which forms a major chunk of the electorate. Data, however, shows that the voting percentage of this bloc remains quite dismal.
As per the Election Commission data, of 13,039 registered overseas voters, only eight Non-Resident Indians, or 0.06%, voted in 2014 general elections. Of these eight, four were from Gujarat, one from Rajasthan, one from West Bengal and two from Chandigarh. The total number of NRI voters registered in 2014 included 12,234 men (93.80%) and 804 or just 6.10% women. Only one ‘Other’ gender voter made it to the list.
Moreover five years later, the number of NRIs registered to vote has zoomed to 71,735, according to the latest EC data. This includes 66,866 or 93.21% men and 4,849 or 6.75% women, while 20 identify with ‘Other’ gender. As per the latest EC data, Andhra Pradesh (2,511) and Telangana (1,127) are the only two other states where more than 1,000 NRIs registered as voters. Reportedly three Union Territories Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep and Dadra & Nagar Haveli have no overseas voters’ registrations as of now.