Bill to link Voter id with Aadhaar introduced in Lok Sabha
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Bill to link Voter id with Aadhaar introduced in Lok Sabha

December 20, 2021

New Delhi: A Bill to link Voter Ids with Aadhaar was introduced in Lok Sabha today, even as several MPs opposed it.

Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, however, said that the Bill is in national interest and will eradicate bogus voting.

As he moved the Bill for introduction in Lok Sabha, several Opposition leaders raised objections.

Opposing the introduction of the Bill, Congress leader Manish Tewari said, “This legislation is beyond legislative competence of the Government. It will hurt Indian democracy.”

Congress’ Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said it should be referred to a Standing Committee.

Asaduddin Owaisi of AIMIM said the Bill “allows Government the power to suppress, disenfranchise, profile, voters and discriminate between beneficiaries of Government schemes.”

Trinamool Congress leader Saugata Roy opposed the introduction of the Bill and raised the issue of the interaction between the Prime Minister’s Office, the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners.

“Central Government is interfering with Election Commission. PM’s Secretary wrote a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner,” he said.

BSP’s Ritesh Pandey said it would negate rights of the citizens and affect the socially backward classes.

“By linking to Aadhaar, the secret ballot would be dismantled,” he said.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said by linking Aadhaar, which is given to all residents with the voter Ids, which are meant only for citizens, Government is “potentially giving right to vote to non-citizens.”

Several MPs also referred to Puttaswamy judgement which holds that the right to privacy is protected as a fundamental right under Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

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Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, however, said the members are misinterpreting the judgement.

“They have not understood the objective of the Bill. It is said in The Representation of People Act that electoral roll should be credible, Section 17 of the Act says no person should be in the electoral roll at more than one places. Government wants to stop bogus voting, and House should cooperate with that,” he said.

The Minister said linking electoral roll with Aadhaar is in national interest.  The Bill was then introduced through voice vote. The Bill was cleared by Cabinet last week.

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