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NRIs may get voting rights
R Prema |
July 30, 2005 20:40 IST
Non-Resident Indians holding Indian passports may get voting rights. The Union government is "very seriously considering the proposal made by political leaders from Kerala in this regard," Minister for Overseas Indians Jagdish Tytler told the Rajya Sabha on Friday.
Intervening in the discussion on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill to grant dual citizenship, Tytler said NRIs present in the country at the time of elections can cast their votes, so there was no harm in allowing them to vote wherever they are. The Bill which was later unanimously passed by the House.
Tytler had to intervene when the members protested against a clause in the Bill that replaces the June 12 Ordinance specifying that those getting the dual citizenship would not have the right to franchise or contest elections to Parliament or state assemblies.
The Bill seeks to give dual citizenship to People of Indian Origin and NRIs from 16 countries.
Winding up the discussion, Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal said laws in 71 countries allowed dual citizenship and the government would gradually extend this facility to all countries where dual citizenship is not barred.