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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Paresh Rawal sparks controversy after punishment to non-voters remark

Rawal (68), a Mumbai resident and a recipient of the Padma Shri, is a former BJP MP from Ahmedabad East.
Last Updated : 20 May 2024, 12:51 IST
Last Updated : 20 May 2024, 12:51 IST

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Mumbai: Actor-politician Paresh Rawal sparked off a controversy when he said that people should be penalised or face enhanced taxes if they do not vote - a statement that invited criticism on social media platforms.

Rawal (68), a Mumbai resident and a recipient of the Padma Shri, is a former BJP MP from Ahmedabad East.

Rawal’s comments came when he was driving home the point for every citizen to participate in the election process.

“…you will say, the government doesn't do this, doesn't do that... if you don't vote today, then you will be responsible, not the government", he stated, urging citizens to take responsibility for their civic duties.

Suggesting compulsory voting, he said: "There should be some provisions for those who don't vote, like an increase in tax or some other punishment".

As soon as the comments went viral, Clyde Crasto, the national spokesperson of Sharad Pawar-led NCP (SP), came down heavily on Rawal.

"Everyone must vote and fulfill their democratic duty for sure. But since you are suggesting such a drastic step against non voters, please suggest punishments for leaders of your party BJP who have accused people of corruption but once they join your party, they give them a clean chit and support them. What say?", Crasto posted on X.

Later responding to one of the comments on social media, Rawal, on his X handle @SirPareshRawal wrote: "…how do you usher in fascism or dictatorship by democratically asking people to vote?".

Rawal’s response came after @ashu_nauty commented: "Finally, someone is advocating for clear fascism and dictatorship - Paresh Rawal Paresh Rawal ji is asking people to vote".

Another user, @error040290, wrote: "It’s voters right if he/she wants to vote he/she will vote. If he/she doesn't want to vote then they won’t. You are no one to told them what they have to do or what the government should have to do with them".

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Published 20 May 2024, 12:51 IST

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