Green-card holder in the poll fray

A Karnataka assembly poll candidate is reported to have declared his assets in US dollars. Presumably, because he runs a business in the US, owns a flat there and holds US government bonds. It is not clear if his dollar declaration of assets would be acceptable to the electoral officer. Every candidate is required to file an affidavit, declaring his current assets, along with his nomination papers. These are then scrutinized by the election office.
Mr Sonne Gowda, contesting the Kolar constituency seat as BJP candidate, is a green-card holder. Maybe there is nothing in our electoral law that says he can’t contest election. The issue is whether Mr Gowda would serve the best interests of his voters; whether he would be available for them whenever he is needed in the constituency.
Normal requirements of a US green-card preclude his continued presence in India for the duration of his term as an MLA. Maybe Mr Gowda, if elected, can so schedule his presence here during assembly sessions. I knew of a green-card holder who was mayor of Ludhiana (or was it Jalandhar?). His business interests in the US were taken care of by his family members there; and he made brief visits of no more than a week or two to the US to comply with a green-card provision that required his presence in the US every year. The mayor made his US trip, usually a couple of weeks, in December end, returning to Punjab in early January. He could, thus, account for two years in one go. This was some years back.
This is no longer possible. Current rules, they say, stipulates longer stay in the US, of six months every year in order to retain one’s green-card. Many NRI parents who split their time between India and the US no longer find it appealing to apply for green-card; and some who have it find their to-and-fro-ing between India and the US cramped by the six-month rule. A green-card holder who becomes an MLA can possibly seek a waiver. And Mr Gowda has, perhaps, worked it all out.

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3 Responses

  1. Of course, under our visionary constitution, elected representative have very few duties and responsibilities. Like Bharata, who reigned in the name of Rama by keeping his slippers on the throne, our MLAs are sure to find brothers as faithful as Bharata, carrying on his reign by keeping his Gucci Crocodile leather shoes on the revolving Italian upholstered chair. Say three cheers for our elected representative. Hip Hip!

    Even if the entire assembly is comprised of green card holders, we will run the show!

  2. It is important that you must belong to the country which has its name appearing in the list of Diversity Visa Program. If it is not so then you can claim your parent’s country of birth as your native country provided that neither of your parents was a permanent resident of the country of your birth when you were born. Or you can claim your spouse country as your native country provided your spouse was born in an eligible country for Diversity Visa Program.

  3. Yes, the U.S. green card holder has to meet certain requirements, especially if he is looking at becoming a citizen of the U.S. The physical presence and the continuous residence requirements would mean that a green card holder cannot stay outside of the United States for more than 180 days without breaking their continuous residence.

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