Gujarat local authorities laws (amendment), act 2009 (2014) will apply to over three crore voters
GN Bureau | July 28, 2015
The Gujarat government has finally taken a huge leap in democratic process in the country. It has issued a notification making voting in local body elections compulsory.
The notification under Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Amendment), Act 2009 (2014) will apply to over three crore voters. They will cast their franchise in the upcoming civic elections to six municipal corprations, around 60 municipalities, 33 district panchayats and more than 150 taluka panchayats. State has recorded 45-50 per cent voting in local bodies elections in the past. In 2010, six municipals corporations had recorded average voting of 44 per cent.
Following this notification, any citizen abstaining from voting in civic elections will be penalized — the punishment could be monetary fine or non-eligibility for certain civic incentives — which will be specified once the rules are framed.
Along with the compulsory voting notification, state government’s revised law declares that the elected representatives will be disqualified if they do not vote.
"It will be duty of a citizen to vote in the local bodies elections. However, every citizen has the freedom to vote in favour of none of candidates contesting elections by pressing None Of The Above (NOTA) option."
In case of failure in voting the registered voter will be declared as the defaulter and against whom the designated authorities will take legal action as prescribed in the rules which will be declared shortly.
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