9 Jan 2010

Indian expats may be able to vote - PM

8:05 pm on 9 January 2010

Non-resident Indians, or NRIs, may be able to vote in the next Indian general election.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said it was a "legitimate desire" of Indians living overseas to have a say in who governs the country.

The BBC reports he was speaking at the annual meeting of NRIs, held in the capital, Delhi. The meeting is attended by 1500 delegates from more than 40 countries.

Four years ago, the government launched an overseas citizenship scheme for the Indian diaspora, which is an estimated 25 million in number.

The scheme allows people of Indian origin who are not Indian nationals most of the same rights as Indian nationals.

However, they are not allowed to vote in Indian elections.

Mr Singh said he sincerely hoped they will get a chance to vote at the next regular general election.