Chief Election Commissioner to resume linking voter IDs and Aadhaar after Supreme Court verdict: Om Prakash Rawat
Chief Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat has said that the Election Commission (EC) will resume linkage of Aadhaar cards with voter IDs once the PIL related to it in the Supreme Court is resolved.
BENGALURU: Chief Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat has said that the Election Commission (EC) will resume linkage of Aadhaar cards with voter IDs once the PIL related to it in the Supreme Court is resolved. Rawat was speaking at the 14th Annual National Conference on Electoral and Political Reforms at IIM-Bangalore. He spoke about the major issues and challenges facing the EC and suggested reforms that could be implemented by the government on its recommendation.
The commission had stopped linking Aadhaar cards with voter IDs in 2015. Rawat said until then, about 32 crore IDs had been linked of the 87.50 crore overall voters.
“The IDs of the remaining
54 crore voters need to be linked and we will do that,” he said. He hailed the commission’s work in India, saying, “Most developed countries look up to India in holding elections.” He also cited a study by Harvard University which found the Indian election to be among the best worldwide on as many as eight aspects, but “miserably poor” in a few. These include abuse of money by parties and increase of paid news in media publications. “Political parties have started owning media houses ... it has become tough to discern paid news from real news,” he added.
Speaking on reforms needed for political parties, he said the commission was of the view that any person convicted of a serious offence must be barred from seeking electoral office and bribery should be made a cognisable offence. He added that the commission should be given the power to de-register a party and a ceiling on expenditure by parties should be fixed.
In another discussion on muscle and money power, KPCC media convener and party spokesperson Brijesh Kalappa raised the issue of faulty Electronic Voting Machines. “As Minister Priyank Kharge has suggested, why not have a hackathon for EVMs? One is yet to find a faulty EVM that votes for more than one party. It is a very strange phenomena and is increasing across the country,” he said.
On K’taka poll dates
When asked about the announcement of assembly election dates for Karnataka, CEC Rawat did not reveal any time frame, but said it will be done in due course.