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Electoral rolls to be linked with Aadhar: CEC of India

New Delhi(PTI): Chief election commissioner HS Brahma on Saturday said that the regulatory has no role in implementation of poll promises made by the political parties during election campaigns.

He said that the commission would leave the issue of the implementation of poll manifestos and promises to the wisdom of political leaders and said that the commission can’t play the role of an ombudsman every political outfit in the country.

Addressing the press on the sidelines of a Workshop on Aadhar linkage with electoral rolls,’ at the MCR Human Resources Development Institute, Brahma said that the commission is happy being the father of the voter at present. “Any aberrations by our politicians would be dealt with by the voter. I leave it to the voters; they will teach political parties that dishonor the manifesto after winning elections. Indian voters might look simple but they are well informed. The commission can’t hang the political parties as it is not our mandate. It requires constitutional amendment,” Brahma said.

He announced the linking of EPIC roll with the Aadhar to weed out fake voters and to purify the electoral rolls to the maximum. “We gave EPIC cards to 84 crore voters in the country so far and over 74 crore Indians now have Aaadhar cards. Which means there is a gap of 10 crore. We want to rectify it within six months, this will make our electoral rolls 100% pucca,” Brahma said.

To fulfill the demand for putting an end to the duplication of cards by the ECI which has conducted 17 general elections and around 350 state elections since independence has decided to link these cards with Aadhar cards . From March 1 to August 15 voters can enter their Aadhar card details through the election commission of India’s official website, or through call centres. “This will go simultaneously in all the 676 districts of the country,” he added.

However, he said that this doesn’t mean that voters would not be allowed to cast votes without Aadhar. “The list of ID cards that one must carry to the polling booth remains the same. But this will help identify duplicate cards in circulation on a particular voter’s name or address,” he said. He also said that the commission is aware of the fact that there could places like the dacoit-infested Madhya Pradesh, inaccessible locations in the Northeast and Jammu and Kashmir where there could be some without Aadhar cards and the process would be slow.

“We have urged state governments to speed up the process of issuing Aadhar cards so that linking with EPIC would also get a boost,” Brahma said.

Answering a question on voting through internet, he said that it depends on the level of literacy in the country. “The current system of EVMs would continue. We need 15 lakh more EVMs so that we can replace all those 8 lakh EVMs that were manufactured before 2006,” he said. He said that the decision for the delimitation of constituencies in residual Andhra Pradesh and Telangana is in the hands of the Union government.

Election commissioner Dr Nasim Zaidi and chief electoral officer for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana State Bhanwarlal were also present.

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