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India NRIs may get voting rights soon

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by rajneesh madhok, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. rajneesh madhok

    rajneesh madhok India
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    NEW DELHI: NRIs may be able to vote in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, with a group of ministers (GoM) clearing a draft bill giving them right to franchise.

    A long-pending demand of NRIs, the proposal is now ready for the Union Cabinet’s nod. The bill, seeking to amend the People’s Representation Act, was under the scrutiny of a GoM headed by defence minister A K Antony.

    “The GoM headed by the defence minister cleared the bill. Now, we are all set to present it before the Cabinet and then it will be introduced in the Parliament,” overseas Indian affairs minister Vayalar Ravi was quoted as saying by a news agency on Sunday.

    The bill was drafted four years ago in a bid to encourage participation of NRIs in the country’s economic growth by giving them an opportunity to be part of the democratic process.

    It was introduced in Rajya Sabha in 2006 and then referred to a parliamentary standing committee, following which it was examined by the GoM comprising Mr Ravi, parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and law minister M Veerappa Moily.

    In January, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while addressing the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas had said he recognised the desire of Indians abroad to exercise their franchise in India and hoped that NRIs would be able to vote by the next general elections in 2014.

    Under the existing law, an NRI’s name gets deleted from the voters’ list if the person is outside the country for more than six months at a stretch.

    The proposed amendments will allow an Indian citizen residing abroad to enroll in the voter’s list and exercise the franchise if the person is present in the constituency on the polling day. There are around 50 lakh NRIs, with Kerala alone having over 21 lakh NRIs.

    Though the prime minister had expressed the hope that Indians abroad should get voting rights, the law ministry was of the view that this would open the question of dual citizenship as all people of Indian origin living abroad do not hold Indian passports.

    NRIs may get voting rights soon-Visa Power-Travel-Services-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times

    Rajneesh Madhok
     
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  3. rajneesh madhok

    rajneesh madhok India
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    NRIs to get voting rights: Veerappa Moily

    12 Jul 2010, 1318 hrs IST,PTI
    LONDON: Indian government is planning to provide voting rights to Non-Resident Indians and steps are being taken to make it a reality, Law and Justice Minister Veerappa Moily has said.

    "The Law ministry has initiated a scheme to provide voting rights to NRIs and it will become a reality soon," Moily told members of the Indian Overseas Congress (UK) London last evening.

    Replying to a representation made by D L Kalhan, President of the Indian Overseas Congress, at the Indian Gymkhana here that the NRI's demand for right to vote in India was pending for long, the Law Minister said "necessary legislation for that purpose would be enacted soon."

    Answering queries at the reception hosted in his honour, Moily said NRIs would have to visit India at the time of the elections.

    Efforts would also be made to provide voting facilities at the concerned Indian Missions abroad. There are an estimated over 22 million NRIs spread all over the world.


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    He said for the purpose of registration as voters in India, their last address in India would be taken into consideration.

    The right to vote would, however, not be available to NRIs who have acquired citizenship of other countries, he said.

    Moily also assured the UK-based NRIs that he would take up the issue of providing visa-free travel facilities to them in the European Union.

    Kalhan also urged the Indian government to withdraw "the black list" issued against some of the NRIs after the assassination of the late Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi.

    The IOC chief also wanted a fresh probe to find perpetrators of the Kanishka aircrash - Air India flight AI-183, in 1985.

    NRIs to get voting rights: Veerappa Moily-Visa Power-Travel-Services-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times

    Rajneesh Madhok
     

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