NRIs could get voting rights soon

Addressing media on the upcoming annual Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj announced that the Election Committee is working on providing NRIs voting rights. Two suggestions have been made, proxy voting or Electronic Voting Machines may be installed in embassies. The 13th Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas beginning Jan 7 has a special significance as it will also commemorate the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi's return from South Africa. 3000 delegates from the diaspora community across the world are expected to participate in the event and PM Narendra Modi will address the conclave on Jan 8, while President Pranab Mukherjee will confer Awards to distinguished NRIs on Jan 9. The President of the republic of Guyana, Donald Ramotar, will be the chief guest at the event to which the foreign minister of South Africa has been invited. Parliament had in 2010 passed the Representation of People (Amendment) Bill to allow NRIs to vote in Indian elections. An estimated 11 million NRIs live in various countries around the world.