Mandatory voting: Practical step or political gimmick?

On 19 December, the Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2009 was passed in the State Assembly. It is now mandatory for all registered voters in Gujarat to vote in the elections of all local bodies (municipal corporations, municipalities and panchayats) of the state. The new amendment empowers the election officer to declare people who do not cast their vote as defaulter voters and subsequently, the government will decide on the action to be taken against the defaulters.