Panaji: Over 2,000 Goans changed their nationality from Indian to Portuguese in the last financial year, losing their right to vote in the country, according to the data of the Election Commission of India.
A data of ECI has revealed that 2,200 people have changed their nationality in Goa in the financial year 2012-13, which means an average six people a day.
Those who changed their nationality included around 500 government servants. "Those who have received foreign nationality surrender their right to vote in India and their names are deleted from the voters` list," joint chief electoral officer Narayan Navti said.
Search for better job opportunities in European countries is apparently a trigger for changing nationality. Officials said that Portuguese passport gives people an access to other European nations.
Earlier, some senior government officials and two lawmakers were caught in the controversy when claims were made against them for having dual citizenship-- Indian and Portuguese.
"There is no such concept called dual citizenship. If you are citizen of another nation, you cannot be an Indian citizen," Navti said. The Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court is currently hearing a case pertaining to allegations of dual citizenship against two legislators - Glen Ticlo (BJP) and Caetano Silva (Goa Vikas Party).
Cases have also been filed against a superintendent of police and an inspector in this regard, sources said. A local resident had earlier filed a petition in High Court asking for an FIR to be filed against two police officers, two MLAs, 43 advocates, six persons working in the high court and 500 others working in government departments or retired for having dual citizenship and being a threat to national security.
A former Portuguese colony, Goa was liberated from the colonial rule in 1961.