Gujarat Governor rejects Local Authorities Laws (Amendment) Bill 2009

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Ahmedabad, Apr 18 (ANI): The return of the Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2009 that seeks to make voting mandatory in the state on the ground that it violates the Constitution has come as a big blow to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Gujarat Assembly Speaker Ashok Bhatt said Governor Dr Kamla Beniwal returned the Bill several days back.

It has been reported that the Governor has rejected the Bill on three grounds.

The first objection is: compulsory voting is a violation of Article 19 of the Indian constitution, which gives Indian citizens freedom of speech and expression.

The second one relates to the provision that seeks to punish those who do not turn up to vote, also considered violation of the fundamental freedom of citizens.

The third one is on failure to implement compulsory voting in different parts of the world.

The Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2009, which seeks to raise the reservation of seats for women in local self-governance bodies from 33 to 50 per cent, was passed by voice vote in the state assembly on December 19, 2009.

Compulsory Voting Bill is one of Narendra Modi's dream projects.

Narendra Modi had earlier described the passage of the Bill as an attempt to strengthen the democracy in the state.

"Everybody will benefit by compulsory voting, be it a ruling party or the opposition," said Modi. (ANI)

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