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BJP seeks 'national debate' on compulsory voting

December 22, 2009 12:33 IST

Calling for a national discussion on replicating the Gujarat model of making voting compulsory, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday criticised the Congress and Left parties for opposing it 'without applying their minds'.

The Gujarat assembly had on Saturday adopted a bill to make voting compulsory in the local body polls. The Congress and the Left parties had opposed it, saying citizens cannot be forced to vote.

Describing the bill as 'innovative and useful', senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu said the modalities of experimenting it in other states should be discussed.

"Let there be a national debate and experiment of the Gujarat model of compulsory voting. The Congress and Left parties are opposing the bill without applying their minds to oppose Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi," he told reporters.

He said the rights of citizens should be accompanied by responsibility, and voting is "both a right and responsibility."

On 'skyrocketing' prices of essential commodities, he attacked the pricing and taxation policies of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre.

The fuel price hike after the Lok Sabha polls has spurred inflation and prices, he said.

The BJP would soon stage protests against price rise and the government's 'ineffectiveness' in tackling it, Naidu added.

On the Telangana issue, he requested the protestors to withdraw their hunger strike as "every life is important," and called for political discussions to end the stalemate.

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