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Govt working on enabling NRIs to vote

Govt working on enabling NRIs to vote
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Ahead of the annual Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas, the government on Monday assured the NRI community that it is working on providing them voting rights.

New Delhi: Ahead of the annual Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas, the government on Monday assured the NRI community that it is working on providing them voting rights.

"EC is working on it, there are two suggestions - proxy voting or Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) be kept in embassies or they may come and vote. They will soon come up with a solution," external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said while addressing a press conference on the upcoming event.

Parliament had in 2010 passed the Representation of People (Amendment) Bill, 2010 to allow NRIs to vote in Indian elections. An estimated 11 million NRIs are living in various countries across the world.

The 13th edition of the three-day PBD event beginning January 7 has a special significance this year as it will also commemorate the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi's return from South Africa.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the conclave on January 8 while President Pranab Mukherjee will confer Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards to distinguished overseas Indians on January 9.

Swaraj said around 3,000 delegates from the diaspora community from across the world are likely to participate in the event being organised by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs along with Gujarat Government.

Swaraj said President of the Republic of Guyana Donald Ramotar will be chief guest at the event to which foreign minister of South Africa has also been invited because of commemoration of Gandhi's return from that country.

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