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The government is having intensive discussions to find out the most “practical way to include nearly a million non-resident Indians in the electoral rolls, Minister of State for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said here Tuesday.

“Two rounds of discussions have been held with the election commission and external affairs ministry. Both agreed to enrol the NRIs but how to do so is the issue,” Ravi told reporters here.

Ravi will meet External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on the issue Wednesday.

The Indian embassies and high commission will be the most important institutions in the enrolment and verification of NRI voters and the agencies are working out how they should go about the task.

“We are sorting it out. This should happen soon. The election commission has to decide the modus operandi,” he added.

In August, parliament passed the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act, 2010 giving voting rights to NRIs.

The bill provides that every Indian citizen – who has not acquired the citizenship of any other country and is not in India due to conditions like employment and education – shall be entitled to have his name registered in the electoral rolls of the constituency in which his place of residence is mentioned in his passport.

They (Election Commission) are very positive… They are looking into it, Ravi said.


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