NEW DELHI: For the first time since 1963, when Goa had its first election, candidates will have to declare that they have not acquired citizenship of any other country.
A special change has been made in the nomination form for Goans to ensure no one who has acquired Portuguese or any other citizenship, can contest the elections. The candidates have to make a declaration that they are citizens of India and have not acquired citizenship of any other country.
Another important change in the nomination form requires affixing of the photograph of the candidate to enable the Election Commission print it on the EVM (electronic voting machine) ballot paper.
The format of the nomination form was amended by the law ministry on September 16 to resolve this citizenship issue that resulted in at least two MLAs in the present Goa Assembly facing disqualification petitions for ceasing to be the Indian citizens by acquiring the Portuguese citizenship.
Portugal’s decision to permit the people of Goa born before Goa became a part of India, to register their births in its registry led to hundreds of the Goans rushed to grab the opportunity as it opened up vista for going to any part of Europe and made their children eligible for studies and work in the Europe.
The facility of birth registration was offered by Portugal to the people born in ‘Estado da Índia’, i.e Goa, Daman & Diu, prior to 19.12.1961, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli, prior to 21.08.1954, whose births were registered in the Civil Registration Offices of these territories before the liberation.
For the first time, the Election Commission has also provided an additional facility to the candidates for online submission (e-filing) of their affidavit on its website. The candidate, however, will have to take a printout of the affidavit, get it notarised and submit it to the returning officer to verify the printed copy at the time of filing the nomination papers.