Six Goans become Portuguese every day

PTI, PANAJI | 27 December 2013 11:29 IST

At least six Goans on an average are changing their nationality daily to become Portuguese since the last five years, according to the records available with the Election Commission of India (ECI) here.

The data at ECI Goa office, where the Portuguese embassy is situated, a total of 11,500 Goans have surrendered their Indian passport to obtain Portuguese passport between January 31, 2008 to January 31, 2013.

A senior official disclosed that nearly 2,700 voters have lost their polling rights as their names have been deleted from the voters list. A decision is pending on 8,800 applications.

Goa, a Portuguese colony, was liberated from colonial rule in 1961 but the former rulers have relaxed certain norms for those Goans who want to get citizenship of that country.

ECI officials who are in the process of updating the electoral rolls in the wake of forthcoming Lok Sabha polls have decided to cancel all names who are having foreign passports.

 

"Those who have received foreign nationality, surrender their Indian passport and lose their right to vote in India," officer said.

The chief electoral officer in Goa has launched a special summery revision as per which additional 24,000 names have been added to the voters list.

The final list would be out by January 2014.

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Most of the people are doing this for better prospects. With Portuguese passports, they can freely enter any EU country, work and reside there. They can earn lot of money. End result - they remit this money back to Goa and this helps our nation at a time when the rupee has dipped to it's lowest level.

Let them take Portuguese nationality, go to developed countries, prosper and come back.

Once they take OCI, if they continuously stay in India for more than one year, they are eligible to obtain Indian nationality again.

Those holding OCI are also treated just like other Indians except that they are not eligible to contest elections in India, vote in the Indian elections and buy agricultural land.

This also helps solve unemployment problem to some extent.

Wherever they are, in their hearts, they are Indians first.

These people also have great love for India. It is just like 'same wine in the same bottle - only label changes'.

- Francisco, Goa | 27 th December 2013 14:24

 

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