Changes to the electoral laws to allow linking of the Aadhaar card to the voter I-card were passed in the Lok Sabha today amid massive opposition protests against the “Election Laws (Amendment) Bill”. Opposition parties said the move to allow the seeding of the Aadhaar card with one’s voter ID or electoral card could lead to more non-citizens voting in the country.
“Aadhaar was meant to be proof of residence, not proof of citizenship. If you are asking an Aadhar card for the voter, all you get is a document that reflects residence. You are potentially giving voting rights to non-citizens,” Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said in the Lok Sabha.
“Voting is a legal right. Linking of Aadhaar with voter ID is wrong,” said another Congress leader, Manish Tewari.
Trinamool Congress leader Saugato Roy, pointing out that Aadhaar cards are issued by the government to all citizens, said: “The central government is interfering in the election process. I oppose this Bill.”
Opposition MPs voiced their objections to the proposed election reforms against the backdrop of unceasing slogan-shouting by their colleagues demanding Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni’s sacking over allegations that his son ran over farmers in Uttar Pradesh.
The government called the opposition’s objections misguided and baseless.
“The government wants to stop bogus voting and fake voting. In such a move, the opposition should support the government,” said Union Minister Kiren Rijiju.
As the arguments and slogan-shouting continued, the house was adjourned for around two hours.
AIMIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi said it would be a big mistake to link Aadhaar cards with voter IDs.
“This will weaken democracy and also the rights of citizens. Around 8 per cent discrepancies have been found in Aadhaar cards and 3 to 4 per cent errors have been found in electoral rolls. If this Bill is passed then a large number of people in this country will lose their right to vote,” Mr Owaisi told NDTV.
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