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LS passes Bill to link voter card with Aadhaar

BL New Delhi Bureau | | Updated on: Dec 20, 2021

Law Minister Kiren Rijiju speaks in the Lok Sabha | Photo Credit: -

Law Minister Kiren Rijiju says linking of Aadhar number will purify electoral rolls and consequently reduce electoral malpractices

The Lok Sabha passed the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021 to link the electoral data with Aadhaar ecosystem. While the Opposition demanded that the Bill should be sent to the Standing Committee of Parliament, but it was introduced at around 12 pm and passed at around 3 pm on Monday.

‘Bill will purify poll rolls’

Moving the Bill, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, in its 105th report, had said that linking of Aadhar number with electoral roll will purify electoral rolls and consequently reduce electoral malpractices.

“Accordingly, the Committee has directed that the relevant laws, in this regard, should be amended at the earliest and Action Taken Report is required to be forwarded to the Committee, was passed by a voice vote after a brief discussion during which some Opposition members demanded that it be referred to a parliamentary panel for scrutiny,” Rijiju said.

The Opposition members alleged they were not allowed to move amendments. The Bill was passed amid the Opposition demanding the resignation of Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra in the context of his son Ashish Mishra being the prime accused in the case relating to the killing of farmers and violence in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3. Rijiju said the Bill will cleanse the election system and eliminate multiple entries.

‘Quite unfortunate’

The leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, and NCP’s Supriya Sule said the Centre is in a “tearing hurry” to pass the Bill. NK Premachandran of RSP said there should be a proper debate and discussion on the Bill. “The members of this House are not getting the opportunity to move their amendments. This is our democratic right. It is quite unfortunate that in the parliamentary system of democracy, the Members of the House are not being allowed to move the amendments. Then, what is parliamentary democracy?” he asked.

Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi said the Bill violates the basic structure of the Constitution. “In the Kesavananda Bharti case, it was clearly said democracy is a part of the basic structure. This Government is taking away the autonomy of the Election Commission. An EPIC card is issued through a Constitutional process by a Constitutional Authority. We have no right whatsoever to indulge in it. By bringing this Bill and making it a law, the Government is interfering in the working of the Election Commission,” he said.

The Bill seeks to allow electoral registration officers to seek Aadhaar number of people who want to register as voters “for the purpose of establishing the identity”. It says “no application for inclusion of name in the electoral roll shall be denied and no entries in the electoral roll shall be deleted for inability of an individual to furnish or intimate Aadhaar number due to such sufficient cause as may be prescribed.”

Published on December 20, 2021
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