The number of Goans opting for the Portuguese nationality has risen steadily over the last three years, according to the Election Commission statistics.
As per the records available with the state office of the Election Commission of India, as many as 1855 Goans have become Portuguese nationals in the last three years and more are catching up.
According to the statistics, the trend is fast becoming a rage as 312 people chose to be Portuguese nationals in year 2008 followed by 432 in 2009 and 807 in 2010.
In an indication that year 2011 will surpass the previous figures, as many as 304 people have changed their nationality status in the first three months of the year.
So what is the bait that is driving people to even abdicate their voting rights for the sake of Portuguese nationality?
“The main catch why people rush for Portuguese passport is that it gives them entry into Europe. From Portugal they can travel to other nations in search of an employment,” State NRI Commissionerate Director U D Kamat said.
The Portuguese had eased rules regarding nationality for the Goans who were born during their rule and to their next two generations.
According to Kamat, “The Portuguese passport holders cannot apply for government jobs here and also can’t buy agricultural properties. Besides, their right to vote also ceases to exist.”
Goa’s Joint Chief Electoral Officer Narayan Navti said the figures of people who have changed their nationality are on the rise and still counting.