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Kerala Govt to press for voting rights to NRIs

Manmohan Singh had assured that steps would be taken to provide voting rights to NRIs at recent Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2006 13:46 IST

Kerala government would exert pressure on the Centre to provide voting rights to NRIs, Finance Minister Vakkom Purushothaman told the Assembly on Wednesday.

Purushothaman said Manmohan Singh had assured that steps would be taken to provide voting rights to NRIs at the recent Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

The Finance Minister was replying on behalf of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to a calling attention.

The state government expects the assurance would be met soon, he added.

Referring to the flight problems experienced by Gulf Malayalees, Purushothaman said the state government would go ahead with its budget airline 'Air Kerala' project.

The Cochin International Airport Limited has appointed Earnest and Young as consultant to prepare a project report on the budget airline, he pointed out.

Several foreign airlines have shown interest to operate from Kerala to the Gulf and a memorandum has been submitted to the Centre for extension of its Open Sky policy to the state, he said.

KP Rajendran, CPI leader in the house, wanted the state to put pressure on the Centre to get the necessary amendments to the Representation of People Act during the budget session of Parliament.

This would enable Gulf Malayalees to exercise their franchise in the coming assembly polls.

First Published: Feb 15, 2006 13:46 IST