Even though the Narendra Modi government has completed a year in office, the nomination of two Anglo-Indian members to the Lok Sabha is yet to be decided.
This, despite several reminders from members of the Anglo-Indian community and its organisations.
“The process to nominate two members of Anglo-Indian community to the Lok Sabha is still on. We have received some names from the community but no decision has been taken yet, ” Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told IANS.
“Appropriate persons will be nominated soon,” he added.
According to Article 331 of the Constitution, the President may, if he is of the opinion that the Anglo-Indian community is not adequately represented in the House of the People, nominate two members of the community to that House.
Cabinet minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptulla had earlier written a letter to the prime minister after a delegation of Anglo-Indian Associations of India met her three months ago urging her to nominate the members. The association had suggested some names to the minister.
The association had also submitted a memorandum to the president, the prime minister, the home minister and BJP president Amit Shah seeking their urgent intervention to nominate the members “without delay”.
The Anglo-Indian members in the last Lok Sabha were Charles Dias from Kerela and Ingrid Mcleod from Chattisgarh.
Expressing dissatisfaction over delay, Dias, who is also the president of Anglo-Indian Associations of India, told IANS from Kerela that this is “cruelty” to the community, adding: “We will go to any extent for our constitutional right.”
He said the government had not even responded to their request. “This is a very serious issue. The government should make its stand clear soon,” he added.
Dias said that the “unjustifiable delay” had caused one-fifth of the period to pass without the members.
In all previous Lok Sabhas, including during NDA rule under prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the nominations were made soon after a new government was voted in. The Vajpayee government had nominated Beatrix D’souza and Denzil B. Atkinson.
Frank Antony and A.E.T Barrow were the first members from the community to be nominated to the first Lok Sabha.