Free Press Journal

Say Aadhar Card not mandatory for voting, EC urged


Aadhar Card

New Delhi: CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Wednesday urged the Election Commission to reiterate that Aadhar Card will not be mandatory for voting in elections.

Yechury said in a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi that voters who had provided details of their Aadhar card to Election Commission officials had been told they no longer need to produce their electoral cards while casting their vote.

“Though the Election Commission has some time ago clarified that the Aadhar Card details are voluntary and not a compulsory requirement for being enrolled on the voters list, this practice as I mentioned above seems to suggest that the (poll panel) has decided in making the Aadhar card as a mandatory requirement for the exercise of franchise,” he said.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist leader recalled that the Supreme Court had ruled that the Aadhar card cannot be made compulsory in elections.

“Under these circumstances, it is indeed very strange that the electoral officers are conducting such an exercise conveying such an impression,” he said.

Yechury also said that the data collected by the Election Commission and linking it up with the Aadhar card of every voter “is a huge data base, possibly the largest data base in any country of the world, which could be put to illegal use for discriminating against a section of bonafide citizens on grounds that are patently proscribed by our constitution.

“I am sure that the Election Commission of India would not lend itself for such a gross abuse of the data base it possesses of the Indian electorate through such linking up with the Aadhar Card.

“I am requesting you once again to reiterate that the Aadhar Card is not mandatory for the exercise of franchise and to ensure the sanctity of the data base collected by the (poll panel) from being possibly misused.”