ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Right to Vote

Indian citizens everywhere should have the right to vote, but the principle of local representation cannot be violated.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s recent assurance in the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conclave to non-resident Indians (NRIs) that Indian citizens abroad would soon be provided the opportunity to vote in elections held in India was welcomed by the members of the expatriate community. The prime minister’s assurance indicates that the United Progressive Alliance government is inclined to amend the Representation of the People Act, 1950 which allows only those who are “ordinarily resident” in a constituency to be registered as voters.

A bill introduced in the Rajya Sabha, The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2006, that allows for non-resident citizens to vote in elections is pending overview by a parliamentary standing committee. The bill mentions the need for involving NRIs in “nation-building”.

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