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Government favours online voting rights for NRKs

Government favours online voting rights for NRKs

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has decided to recommend to the state Election Commission to take steps to provide online voting to Non-Resident Keralites (NRK)s during the local bodies elections later this year.

The decision in this regard was taken at the cabinet meeting, Non-Resident Keralite Affairs minister K C Joseph said.

"Already we have made amendments in the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act and Kerala Municipalities Act to provide voting rights for NRKs in local bodies election," the minister said.

Kerala is the first state to make amendments in the Local Bodies Act to provide political rights to NRIs, he said.

An all party meeting held last week to discuss the matter had failed to reach a consensus on extending voting facility to NRKs in the coming civic polls.

The meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, had rejected the proposal of proxy voting as all political parties opposed it and a consensus could not be reached as main opposition parties had expressed reservation over providing online voting facility to Keralites settled abroad.

Both the Centre and the EC were in favour of extending voting rights to expatriates.

Voting facility to around 2.3 million NRKs has been a long-standing demand.

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