EC to be ready this month with draft rules on NRI voting | delhi | Hindustan Times
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EC to be ready this month with draft rules on NRI voting

delhi Updated: Dec 09, 2010 18:29 IST
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The Election Commission on Thursday said that efforts are on to frame rules by month-end to enable NRIs to vote but gave no assurance on whether these will be implemented in assembly polls due next year.

"Rules are being framed. We met the Foreign Secretary and Secretaries Overseas Indian (Affairs Ministry) and the Law Ministry... Our effort is to be ready with the draft rules by the end of this month," Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi told reporters.

Addressing a press conference along with Law Minister M Veerappa Moily on electoral reforms, the CEC said the Commission is looking at the feasibility factor.

"But the complexities are enormous. It is not a very easy task because we don't want to create confusion and chaos. But we are looking at the promise," he said when asked whether the plan would come into effect in the assembly polls due in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

The Centre has already issued a notification to enable NRIs to exercise their franchise. Parliament had in the monsoon session passed the Representation of People (Amendment) Bill, 2010 to allow NRIs to vote in elections and now government has issued a gazette notification in this regard.

An estimated 11 million NRIs are living abroad. However, the person will be able to exercise the franchise only if he or she is present in the constituency on the polling day.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, addressing the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas earlier in 2010, had indicated that Indian passport holders living abroad could get voting rights by the next Lok Sabha elections in 2014.