The Election Commission has announced that the Electors Photo Identity (EPIC) card is not mandatory for the people to cast their votes in the forthcoming Assembly elections.
Additional Chief Electoral Officer Dibyendu Sarkar on Thursday said it is not compulsory for the voters to have an EPIC card with them to exercise their franchise in the upcoming A ssembly elections. The EC has categorically mentioned about 11 documents any of which could be used by the voters. Sarkar has said that if the voters have any of the 11 documents they will be able to cast the votes, no matter whether they possess the EPIC card or not.
The documents include Driving license, PAN card, Aadhar Card, Passport, Bank pass book and other ID cards having photos on them, Service Identity Cards with photographs issued to employees by Central, state government, Public Sector Undertakings, Public Limited Companies, Smart Card issued by Register General of India under National Population Register, Pension order with photo, Health Insurance Smart Cards issued under the scheme of Ministry of Labour. The job cards issued to the people under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) can also be used for casting the votes.
The decision was taken by the Election Commission so that the voters who do not have proper EPIC card or those who have lost them do not face any problems while exercising their democratic rights.
If the photos on the EPIC cards are not clearly visible, a voter can go to the polling stations with any of the documents.
It may be mentioned that this is not the first time the commission is introducing the system here in West Bengal, it had previously started the system in other states also so that people do not face any problems for not having an EPIC card.
Meanwhile, sources said that the state government has approached the EC to know whether it would be possible to announce jobs for the nearest of the kin of the deceased.