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NRI voting rights bill in next House session

Speaking at a press meet, minister for overseas Indian affairs also rules out giving similar facility to the PIOs.

india Updated: Jan 05, 2007 23:00 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

A bill granting voting rights to the NRIs would be introduced in Parliament during the next session, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said on Friday while ruling out a similar facility to the People of Indian Origins (PIOs).

Addressing a press conference ahead of the 'Pravasi Bharatiya Divas' to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on January 7, Ravi said the Bill to amend the Representation of People's Act was earlier introduced but was referred to the Standing Committee.

The Committee had suggested a few amendments which would now be incorporated in the new Bill, he said.

Amendments to the RP Act would be made to enable enrolment as voters of the Indian passport holders.

But under the Indian Constitution anyone holding a passport of any other country cannot be granted voting rights and there is no proposal to amend it either, he said.

Referring to the misuse of marriages by some NRIs, the minister said India was likely to join The Hague Convention on Private International Law. This would enable protection of the interests of Indian girls who are trapped by the unscrupulous expatriates through marriages.

The government has already launched a campaign to create awareness among the vulnerable sections so that they do not get exploited. The campaign would be carried upto village level.

Over 1500 NRIs are expected to attend the three-day annual meet where Singapore Deputy Prime Minister S Jayakumar would be the Chief Guest.

First Published: Jan 05, 2007 17:31 IST