Centre yet to name two Anglo-Indians for Lok Sabha

The Hindu, March 20, 2015

Ten months into its term, the Modi government is yet to nominate two members of the Anglo-Indian community to the Lok Sabha despite at least two reminders from the All India Anglo-Indian Association about the unprecedented delay.

In all previous Lok Sabhas ? including during NDA-I ? the nominations were made soon after a new government was voted in.

Members of the community felt that the delay is in line with the Modi government?s attitude towards minorities, though some are privately hoping that things may change if the government has to convene a joint session of Parliament to get the contentious Land Bill passed.

With some of the BJP?s allies also against the Bill, the numbers may not add up for the government even in a joint session scenario and every additional vote will count. ?Then this forgotten minority will probably matter for the government,?? said a member of the community, recalling how the former Prime Minister, P.V. Narasimha Rao, had nominated two members from the community before the vote of confidence for his minority government.

With no evident effort being made by the government to fill the two vacancies, another representation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi was made on March 14 in which the association president, Neil O?Brien, a former nominated MP, expressed concern over the delay on two counts.

First, the 1.5 lakh-strong Anglo-Indian community had gone unrepresented for four sessions including the Budget Session. And, second, if the nomination is not made before March 31, then the community would lose out on the entire year?s allocation of funds under MPLADS. Soon after the change of guard at the Centre last year, the association sent two names to the government hoping that at least one of them would be selected. It had also given a written assurance that if an association nominee is selected, the person would vote for the government in a no-confidence motion, Mr. O’Brien said.

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