Compulsory voting bill re-introduced in Gujarat assembly

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - 21:54

Gandhinagar: Unfazed by the Governor sending
back Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi`s much talked about
compulsory voting bill, the state government re-introduced the
legislation without any changes in the assembly on Tuesday.

The bill making voting mandatory in elections to self
governing bodies was returned by Governor Kamla in April on
the grounds the legislative measure is against individual
freedom.

Urban development minister Nitin Patel tabled the bill
which will be taken up for discussion in the next session of
the assembly.

The bill has been re-introduced in the same form
despite the fact that it was returned by Kamla in a setback to
Modi after it was first passed in the state assembly in
December last.

Governor Kamla`s comments while returning the bill in
were read out by Speaker Daulat Desai.

Kamla had said "the voters have a freedom not to vote,
to force them to vote is against the principles of an
individual liberty. The present bill violates this freedom
which a citizen is entitled to enjoy under article 21 of the
constitution".

The Governor had further said the penal consequences on
defaulter voters are not provided in the bill and are left to
the state government for which rules are yet to be framed.
"This cannot be left to the rule making authority and
therefore this provision is both alarming and serious".

Moreover, the Governor had also noted that the mandatory
voting bill be separated from the 50 per cent reservation for
women in the local bodies elections bill.

-PTI



First Published: Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - 21:54

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