Indian passport holders may get voting rights by 2014: PM
Indian passport holders living abroad could get voting rights by the time of next Lok Sabha elections in 2014, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh indicated today.delhi Updated: Jan 09, 2010 01:15 IST
Indian passport holders living abroad could get voting rights by the time of next Lok Sabha elections in 2014, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh indicated today.
Inaugurating Pravasi Bharatiya Divas celebrations here, Singh said he recognises the "legitimate desire" of Indians
living abroad to exercise their franchise and to have a say in who governs India.
"We are working on this issue and I sincerely hope that they will get a chance to vote by the time of the next regular general elections," Singh told the gathering of 1,500 overseas Indians from 40 countries.
"In fact, I would go a step further and ask why more overseas Indians should not return home to join politics and
public life as they are increasingly doing in business and academia," he said.
Officials later said the voting rights could be extended to Indian passport holders and those having Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) cards will not be eligible for it.
"We seek the active involvement of the overseas Indian communities in accelerating the pace of our economic and
social development. In this context, it is important that we make efforts to connect the second generation of overseas
Indians with their ancestral heritage and involve them actively in India's march forward," he said.
Lamenting that investments by Indian diaspora in India were low, the Prime Minister asked them to take a "careful
look" at the country of their origin which is one of the top investment destinations.