Former Union Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Manishankar Aiyar on Monday criticised Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of mandatory voting and appealed to the people to reject it.
"It (Bill) suggests autocratic style of functioning of Modi who wants to punish the people of the state for not exercising their right to vote in the polls," Aiyar said to newsmen in Vadodara.
The former union minister wondered how voting would be made mandatory without prescribing the nature of punishment in the provisions of the bill.
"By not turning up for voting at the booths, people do express their will. So why they should come to booths to express their opinion on not being interested in voting," he asked.
Aiyar is on a visit to Vadodara, Anand and Ahmedabad for strengthening the Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Sangthan in the Congress party.
He alleged that Modi had prevented him as a union minister in visiting various panchayat bodies in Gujarat on several occasions despite his plea for permission.
The Congress leader also raised doubts on the set up of panchayat bodies in Gujarat where wishes of local people at the village and taluka level were not taken into consideration while preparing the district planning budget.