Millennium Post

Bengal Governor bats for compulsory voting

Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi on Sunday suggested that voting can be made compulsory to the electoral laws and necessary amendments can be made so that democracy in the country becomes more effective.

He was speaking at the Dr Rajendra Prasad Memorial lecture on “Amendment process of People’s Representation Act in the context of compulsory voting”. The programme was organised by the All India Radio at Nandan II on Sunday afternoon.

While delivering his lecture, Tripathi stressed the importance of compulsory voting in democracy. 

According to him, compulsory voting should become the “responsibility of every voter instead of right”. “Voting related corruption will also come down if it is made compulsory. Every voter has to be at the polling centre for casting his/her vote,” he said.

“With the changing of time and the mindsets of people, some amendments have to be done to the electoral laws. It is necessary to change electoral laws to make democracy more effective,” Tripathi said adding: “We must think of compulsory voting to bring in changes in the election law,” he said.

During his speech, the governor also stressed that there should be options of financial punishments for voters skipping polling. He said that NOTA would also be made an integral part of voting. When asked whether making voting “compulsory” would be possible in India, Tripathi said: “It is not impossible. Only a genuine effort is required.”

Referring to 28 nations, including Singapore, Australia, Belgium, Peru, Bolivia, Canada, Uruguay, where there is compulsory voting, the Governor said that the move would not only increase the number of voters but also consolidate the democratic and republican structure of the nation.
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