Mohammed Salim of CPM speaks to The Indian Express about his objections to the Bill passed in Lok Sabha to allow proxy voting for NRIs.
What is the issue you raised of companies forcing employees to attend the PM’s rallies outside the country?
Rallies are being organised. They are compelling and coercing, like in Middle East and other places. Instead of encouraging with holidays and incentives, company employees are being mobilised. This is not spontaneous.
Why is it being done?
To showcase how popular the PM is.
What is the “vote ka sauda” you mentioned?
For one constituency or one candidate or one party or one location, someone will take responsibility, some big company. Those who have interest in India. Or an Indian company having interests there. They will mobilise this, for the elections.
You mentioned India’s foreign missions being used to disseminate BJP propaganda?
There is a book written on (BJP) ideology. MEA and embassies are buying this book and whoever is visiting is being handed the book. Earlier it used to be Indian culture, tradition, history, food. Now it’s propagandist of a particular philosophy.
On the Representation of People (Amendment) Bill passed today, what were your concerns about internal migrants?
Internal migrants and government employees are not getting this facility (of proxy voting). Poor migrants who cannot afford to travel long distances and don’t have holidays are not being encouraged. Government should treat equally. (Internal migrants) Are without social security net, without permanent jobs.