HYDERABAD: The Election Commission would launch a drive from March 1 to link Aadhaar number with electoral rolls in a bid to weed out multiple voter cards and bogus voters and put in place an authentic database.
According to the available data with the ECI, there are 84 crore voters in India.
Chief Election Commissioner HS Brahma told reporters here on Saturday that this ‘Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Drive’ (ERPAD) across all the 676 districts is proposed to be completed by August 15 this year.
“We are planning to combine the data of both the cards of every individual voter in the country. Multiple cards in the name of same person and voter ID cards with fake information will be eliminated after gathering the data,” the CEC said.
Under the new scheme, every voter has to update their Aadhaar Card numbers in the web portal of ECI which was launched on January 25. Any voter who has access to the Internet can update their data on the portal once the drive is officially launched on March 1. It will also provide an opportunity to make changes to the details in voter ID cards. Any error in the address, spelling of the name and date of birth of the voters can be rectified by updating the correct data on the portal. Though the EC is keen on linking Aadhaar with EPIC cards, it is not mandatory for the voters to update their data. People can still cast their vote without updating the Aadhar data. For those Indian nationals who are settled in foreign countries, the ECI has provided an option to use the data in the passport or driving license instead of Aadhar card. Brahma further said, voters in Naxalite-affected areas and from remote areas of northeast states will be given additional time for updating their details. Those who are yet to get their Aadhar cards can still apply for it and finish the process before the deadline, he added.
The CEC, who was visiting Hyderabad for the first time after assuming charge, said the proposal to increase the number of Assembly seats in Telangana needs constitutional amendments and the issue is now in the hands of Union government.
Talking about the proposal to introduce online voting, Brahma said it needs a constitutional amendment and the commission is also seeking response from all the political parties on the proposal. Saying, the voting process needs to be updated according to changes across the globe, he stated that around eight lakh outdated EVM machines will be replaced soon. The proposal to make voting mandatory is yet to be decided, he said.