Parties urge EC to link Aadhaar with electoral rolls

Parties urge EC to link Aadhaar with electoral rolls

Several political parties on Monday told the Election Commission to link the Aadhaar numbers of the voters with their details in the electoral rolls.

The EC held consultations with the representatives of the seven national and 34 state political parties ahead of a series of state assembly polls as well as the next parliamentary elections scheduled to be held April-May 2019.

“(The) political parties urged the commission to link Aadhar numbers with electors’ detail for better electoral roll management,” the poll-panel stated after the meeting.

It also said that the political parties had expressed concern on paid news and suggested to make it an electoral offence to curb the menace. The EC also stated that the political parties wanted free airtime on private media for them to campaign in favour of themselves and their candidates during elections, like the Doordarshan and All India Radio.

Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat called upon the representatives of the political parties to put forward their views on important issues, such as transparency in political funding, media management including that of social media, bringing in trust and confidence of all stakeholders in the voting and counting process. He mentioned the challenges faced by all the democracies globally in view of the new media and advancements in Information Technology.

He said that the EC was taking initiatives to prevent undesirable interference in the democratic process of elections in the country.

All the parties assured the EC that they would extend requisite support in the process of preparation of the Electoral Rolls. They also suggested sharing copies of the deletion list. Some parties requested for avoiding the festival season for roll revision. The EC informed parties that it had already taken it into account and revision in all states, excluding the poll-bound ones, would start from September 1 and continue for two months instead of the usual period of one month.

The EC did not elaborate which parties sought to link of Aadhaar numbers with the details of the electors in the electoral rolls, but sources said that one-fourth of the political parties, which took part in the consultation with the poll-panel at Nirvachan Sadan on Monday, favoured it.

The commission had suspended its programme to link Aadhaar numbers of electors with their details in the electoral roll in August 2015, after an order of the Supreme Court. The apex court had ordered that Aadhaar card would be optional for availing various welfare schemes of the Government.

The political parties on Monday also suggested the EC to impose a cap on expenditure for council elections. They also suggested more measures in view of current electronic and digital environment, said the EC.

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