India’s Maritime Association of Shipowners Shipmanagers and Agents (MASSA) has urged the government to enable Indian seafarers to vote while outside the country.
According to MASSA, the population of India seafarers currently stands at around 200,000 and it is estimated that around 90,000 of them discharge their voting obligations onboard cargo vessels sailing outside India.
The association has urged the government to take necessary measures to change the situation before the upcoming general election, which is scheduled to commence from April 11 to May 19.
“The seafarers are the torch bearers of our national trade, staying away from their home and families for months. They should be given the choice and facilities to exercise their franchise, which is a right under the constitution,” said Shiv Halbe, CEO of MASSA.
National Union of Seafarers of India also passed a similar resolution in its annual general meeting recently.