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Use Aadhaar numbers to detect bogus voters: House panel

Use Aadhaar numbers to detect bogus voters: House panel
As part of the discourse on cleaning up the country's electoral system, a Parliamentary panel, in its latest report, has recommended linking of voters with their Aadhaar card numbers to help prevent bogus voters from enrolling in the electoral rolls. The committee praised the Election Commission (EC) for digitalisation of the country's electoral rolls and the use of software, which has helped to detect a large number of bogus voters in rolls.

The committee also suggested the preparation of a common digital electoral roll which can be used both by the Election Commission of India and the state election commissions. Although the two are independent bodies according to the Constitution, the committee has opined that this common electoral list would not only save huge national resources but also be a major step forward towards "purification" of the electoral rolls.

These suggestions were made in a unanimous report presented to Parliament by the Standing Committee on Law and Justice, headed by Congress Deputy Leader of the Rajya Sabh Anand Sharma and comprising of BJP members Pravat Jha and Meenakhshi Lekhi and TMC members Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (the party's deputy leader) and Idris Ali.

The reason cited in the recommendations is that it has been observed that in many cases a particular elector is registered as a voter at multiple places, which is a cause of concern and worry. The committee felt this gives rise to electoral malpractices, including bogus voting. During a meeting with the committee, the Election Commission said that it has data for the entire country and the central server of the Commission is with Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Pune.

C-DAC, Pune, which is a premier hub for cutting edge R&D, has the distinction of being the country's first C-DAC centre. It has been at the forefront of the organisation's R&D initiatives and has spearheaded several national programmes of strategic importance. C-DAC, Pune is also credited for the first indigenously developed PARAM supercomputer .

The state election commission are independent bodies, with some preparing their own electoral rolls and some using the Election Commission of India's electoral rolls. The EC claimed at the meeting with the House panel that with the help of modern software, the Commission can to detect a large number of bogus voters in the country. During the recent Assembly polls, 32 lakh bogus voters were removed from the electoral rolls of UP, 42 lakh in Uttarakhand, 15,000 in Goa and 2.37 lakh in Punjab.
Gautam Lahiri

Gautam Lahiri

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