Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) can vote in Indian elections only if they are present in their constituencies, and it is not physically possible to allow them to vote from outside the country, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi has said. “We requested the Election Commission to work out some mechanism, but they have said it is neither physically nor practically possible,” said Ravi. He pointed out that Indian polls are now totally conducted through electronic voting machines (EVMs), and the Election Commission has clearly said it was not possible to allow NRIs vote through ballot or email. “We have given voting rights to NRIs. But they can vote only if they are present in the constituency where their name is listed,” he said. The minister pointed out that rules of voting for the resident Indians were also the same. “For example, if you are listed in some constituency in Kerala and you live in Delhi, you can’t vote in Delhi. You need to travel to your constituency to vote. It’s the same for NRIs. If they want to vote, they need to go to their constituency,” Vayalar Ravi said.

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