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Voting Could Be Made Compulsory, Says Law Minister Moily

Law Minister M Veerappa Moily has said  India needs to graduate to a level where everyone casts vote and nurture democracy. "In an ideal situation voting could be made compulsory," he said replying to a
PTI May 01, 2010 9:55 IST
PTI
Law Minister M Veerappa Moily has said  India needs to graduate to a level where everyone casts vote and nurture democracy.

"In an ideal situation voting could be made compulsory," he said replying to a debate on a Private Member's Bill on Compulsory Voting moved by Congress member Jai Prakash Agarwal.

"Everyone should contribute and nurture the largest democracy" he said in his reply which remained inconclusive.

Earlier participating in debate members from all sides supported the idea of compulsory voting.

Opposition parties said government must provide adequate facilities to encourage voters to exercise their franchise.

Gorakhnath Pandey (BSP) said people should be penalized not casting their votes. The penalty could be a fine of Rs 500 or confiscation of ration card.

Viney Kumar (Cong) regretted that the government has not able to prepare proper electoral rolls.

Another Congress member Raja Rampal said about 70-80 per cent of the people do not know the meaning of democracy.

Premdas (S) said there should be one voter list for all elections.

J M Aaron Rashid (Congress) underlined the need for infusing democratic spirit among youth.

Shailendra Kumar (SP) said the Government has to make facilities available to make people vote.

S Semmalai (AIADMK) endorsed the concept of compulsory voting and but said the government should not have any alliance with parties which do not follow good electoral practices.

Satpal Maharaj (Cong) sought postal voting rights for defence personnel.

Adhir Ranjan Choudhary (Cong) said the Constitution does not permit punishing voters if they do not vote.

Vijay Bhadur Singh (BSP), Chaudhary Lal Singh (Congress) and Badruddin Ajmal (AUD) also spoke.