BJP leader L K Advani today batted for introduction of compulsory voting in the country and said those failing to exercise their right to franchise should be barred from voting in future. "I have seen elections from 1952. I have also studied election processes of other countries. I had recommended that compulsory voting should be introduced in the country," Advani said addressing a gathering here. The Supreme Court of India also said that there should be compulsory voting in the country. Compulsory voting is practiced in countries like Italy and Australia, Advani said.
"Not only compulsory voting, there should also be some punishment for those who do not vote. In some countries, there is a fine, but in India there are many poor people. So I had suggested that those who do not vote should be barred from voting in future," Advani said.He said that Gujarat is the only state which has passed the bill on compulsory voting in local body elections, though it cannot be implemented since it was not signed by the Gujarat governor.
"I hope that the new government will look into the issue of compulsory voting," Advani said. As part of electoral reforms, candidates should be given election grants to curb poll expenses in the country. "Earlier elections were fought with very less amounts of money, but nowadays one cannot imagine the amounts spent on elections. To curb this, grants should be given to candidates," Advani said.
The veteran BJP leader said that this is the first election where people have already decided the results even before polls are over. However, he said that implementation of promises made in the BJP manifesto would require co-operation of the people or else they would not be achieved.