Advani endorses Narendra Modi's view on compulsory voting
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BJP leader L K Advani on Sunday appeared to be on the same page as Narendra Modi, a rarity since the acrimony over naming PM candidate, as he endorsed the Gujarat Chief Minister's view that there that there should be compulsory voting along with the None-of-the-Above option.
In his latest blog posting, Advani welcomed the Supreme Court suggestion that people should have the option of a negative vote.
However, he added that along with this provision voting should be made mandatory.
"As things stand today, voters who without any legitimate justification have not been exercising the valuable right of franchise the Indian Constitution has conferred on them have, unwittingly thus, been casting a negative vote against all the contesting candidates without intending to do so," Advani said.
"I hold, therefore, that a negative vote would become really meaningful if it is accompanied also by the introduction of mandatory voting," he added.
Advani, who had resisted Modi's elevation first as BJP's Campaign Committee Chief and later as the Prime Ministerial candidate, gave credit to the Gujarat Chief Minister for making the first move in this direction.
"The only state in India which has on its own initiative moved in this direction (compulsory voting) is Gujarat.
"Under Narendra Modi its Assembly has twice legislated for compulsory voting but the Bill has not received the assent of the Governor, or even of New Delhi," Advani said.
He pointed out that 31 countries in the world have compulsory voting but only a dozen of them actually enforce it by having deterrent provisions for citizens who fail to vote without any justified reason.