Compulsory voting not feasible, says Chawla

Democracy & compulsion do not go hand in hand

Compulsory voting not feasible, says Chawla

 Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla

Referring to the recent amendment made by the Gujarat Assembly making voting mandatory in local body elections,  he said it would not be feasible at the national level.
Chawla, however, said it would be for Parliament to debate and decide the issue.

Moderating a session on “Voter Education: New Ways and Alliances,” Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi also observed that compulsory voting was undemocratic.
“Democracy and compulsion do not go hand in hand. We think voter awareness is more effective than forcing people by making a law,” he said.

The Election Commission  has initiated efforts to rope in youth and civil society to participate in voter awareness campaign.

Chawla also said that removal process of an election commissioner should be similar to that followed in case of the chief election officer.

“I have written recently to the prime minister for equalisation of the removal process of election commissioners at par with that of the CEC,” Chawla told reporters on the sidelines of the Election Commission’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations here.
Quraishi had last week suggested that the procedure of removal of election commissioners should be the same as the CEC as they enjoyed similar powers.

Former CEC N Gopalaswami’s attempt to remove Navin Chawla from the post of Election Commissioner had resulted in a controversy last year. However, the president rejected Gopalaswami’s recommendation.

As per the present provisions, while the CEC could only be removed through impeachment, his colleagues could be divested of their post by his recommendation to the government.

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