Gandhinagar: The Gujarat government on Wednesday announced that it was going to bring an ordinance to make voting compulsory for elected representatives of local bodies.
The announcement comes in the wake of government's recent decision to implement the Compulsory Voting Act, which has a controversial provision of penal action against the registered voters if they fail to vote in local body elections.
Health Minister and government spokesperson Nitin Patel today said the government will seek Governor's approval to bring an ordinance to make voting compulsory for elected representatives from the coming local body polls.
"Before notifying the compulsory voting act, we have decided to bring an ordinance which will have a provision of disqualifying elected representatives such as corporators, members of municipality or panchayat, etc., if they do not vote in every election taking place in their ward," he said.
Ordinance was necessary as the present laws -- Gujarat Provincial Municipal Act, Nagarpalika Act and Panchayat Act -- did not have such a provision, he said.
"These three acts does not have such a provision. Before we implement the compulsory voting act for the people, we have decided to implement this rule for representatives first. If a representative fails to give valid reason for not voting, he will be disqualified," said Patel.
The local body elections for 253 municipalities, 208 taluka panchayats, 26 district panchayats and 6 municipal corporations are expected to be held in October.
"Once the Governor gives nod to implement this provision through an ordinance, we will make the announcement," said Patel.