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Link Aadhaar with Voter ID: EC

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The government had earlier made it mandatory for linking Aadhaar card with bank account, mobile numbers and various other services. However, it didn’t make it compulsory for linking Aadhaar card with voter ID cards. The Election Commission has written to Law ministry for linking voter ID card with Aadhaar card. The poll body also sought amendments to the Representation of People Act 1950 stated that linking of voter ID cards with Aadhaar will reduce duplicate and bogus voters. The move is aimed at improving the accuracy of electoral rolls. India currently has more than 750 million registered voters.

Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe told Afternoon Voice’s reporter Nikhil Sagare, “Aadhaar card should be linked to voter ID cards and polling booths must exist within one kilometre of voter’s residence. Those who possess voter ID card should be able to cast their votes. Many people despite possessing voter ID card can’t vote as their names are missing from the voting list. In 371 Lok Sabha constituencies 54, 50,000 votes are not matching. The Election Commission should look into this matter.”

The Election Commission had earlier urged the government to link Aadhaar card with voter ID cards. However, the Supreme Court had stayed the linking of Aadhaar card with voter ID card. Therefore, the linking of both these documents was kept at the backburner. The Election Commission has once again come forward with a proposal to link both these documents. Since Modi government had taken several important decisions in the past few weeks the poll body is confident that the government will take a right decision with reference to linking voter ID card with Aadhaar. The Election Commission (EC) has long claimed that mandatory linking of both these documents can prevent voter fraud and ensure each person has only one vote.

BJP MLA Atul Bhatkalkar said, “Linking of Aadhaar card with voter ID is one of the suggestions I myself have also demanded. The Chief Minister has written a letter to the Election Commission for linking of Aadhaar with voter ID. We are requesting to the EC to check all the possibilities to stop bogus voting.”

The Congress and other opposition parties have raised questions about the election process being followed in the country. Later BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Upadhyay filed a petition in the Delhi court stating that Aadhaar should be linked to detect bogus voters and strengthening the voting process.

Earlier, the EC said that linking the 12-digit unique identity to all voter cards is not compulsory. However, the poll panel changed its stance after former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) AK Jyoti took charge in 2016. As many as 32 crore Aadhaar numbers have been linked to voter ID cards so far.

Criminal lawyer and NCP MP Majeed Memon said, “The Election Commission may have written to government for linking Aadhaar card with voter ID. Every person must be able to cast his vote. If he is unable to cast his vote for not possessing documents then it is unjustified. Electoral reforms are necessary to curb bogus voting and EVMs should be abolished. Legitimate voters should be allowed to exercise their franchise.”

In February 2015, the poll panel issued guidelines for linking Aadhaar with voter ID cards as part of the National Electoral Rolls Purification and Authentication Programme (NERPAP).

However, the Supreme Court stayed the move in its August 2015 ruling, stating that the unique identification number or the Aadhaar card will not be used by the respondents for any purpose other than the PDS scheme and in particular for the purpose of distribution of food grains, and cooking fuel such as kerosene. In July 2017, the EC submitted its application to the top court for the collection of Aadhaar details of voters and linking them to their database.

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