Consensus should be built on compulsory voting: BJP

New Delhi: BJP President Nitin Gadkari on Monday batted for making voting in elections compulsory but only after a consensus was arrived at among political parties.

Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla has, however, said it is almost impossible to enforce compulsory voting at the national level during Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.

Talking to reporters here, Gadkari maintained that BJP "in principle" supports compulsory voting but the issue should be discussed among political parties to arrive at a wider political consensus before implementing the idea.

"The government and the EC should initiate electoral reforms before the 2014 elections," he said and suggested periodic revision of electoral rolls to remove anomalies.

Gadkari's contention, however, does not have support of some of the NDA constituents like JD(U) which has argued that daily wage labourers may face problems in voting if it was made compulsory as they would lose a day's earnings and those working in the interior regions may have to travel long distances to exercise their franchise.

The EC, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary, and the government are contemplating certain changes in the electoral system.

A private member's Bill, moved by V Narayansamy (Cong), on making voting compulsory is already pending in Parliament.

The new BJP President also said paper back-up of votes cast in EVM should also be kept. BJP has made several petitions to the EC on the issue and believes EVMs can be tampered with and evade detection. Gadkari agreed that criminals should not be allowed in politics.