India can consider making voting compulsory, says Niti Aayog CEO
India can consider making voting compulsory like in Australia to encourage rich and middle class to cast their ballots, Niti Aayog Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Amitabh Kant said on Wednesday.
Kant’s statement comes against the backdrop of low voting turnout witnessed in several urban areas of India in ongoing general elections. In Mumbai, less than 52 per cent voting was witnessed in the Lok Sabha polls held on April 29.
“Australia too is in the midst of its federal elections. Voting is compulsory and those who do not vote are fined USD 20.
“In case of non-payment, you can be taken to court and liable to be jailed. Seeing the apathy of rich and middle-class voters in urban cities of India this is worth a try,” he said in a tweet.
The issue of compulsory voting has cropped up several times within and outside Parliament.
In February last year, while responding to a private member’s bill introduced in the Lok Sabha on compulsory voting, then Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda had said though he appreciated the intention of the members, it would not be possible for the government to introduce compulsory voting and penalise those who failed to exercise their franchise.