'Problems in NRI voting rights being worked out'
Thiruvananthapuram: Practical problems are being worked out to enroll non-residents Indians (NRIs), specially in the Middle East, on the electoral rolls, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said here on Sunday.
"Look, there are practical problems in enrolling them because close to 90 percent of NRIs are in the Middle East and it is not practically feasible to ask each of them to go and register in the Indian embassies there. It could well throw normal life out of gear in those countries if we ask all Indians to go to the embassies to register," Ravi told reporters.
Over two million Malayalis are settled in the Middle East and Kerala goes to polls before May this year.
"The law minister and I had a detailed discussion to see that a system is devised for the NRIs to register their names. We have come out with a procedure through which all NRIs can through e-mail get in touch with their respective Indian embassies and register with the help of their passport," said Ravi.
He added that the recommendation had been forwarded to the Election Commission.
"Since they are a constitutional body, we are now waiting to hear from them what their opinion is to our suggestion," the minister said.
"Through this a preliminary list can be prepared by the respective embassies that can be listed constituency wise. And once that is done, any addition or deletion is possible as is done on the normal voters list... It is our wish that all NRIs get the chance to cast their vote in the forthcoming assembly polls to be held here," the minister added.