LS passes bill to link voter ID with Aadhaar

New Delhi: A bill to link voter IDs with Aadhaar was introduced, and passed in Lok Sabha on Monday, amid opposition by several MPs who called it a violation of rights of citizens and attack on democracy.

The Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha on Monday, and was brought for passage by Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on the same day.

Opposition protests against the Bill in the House saw MPs raising slogans against the Minister as he moved the Bill for consideration and passing.

“There is a provision in the Bill for linking Aadhaar card with voter ID card. This is voluntary and not mandatory,” the Minister said, calling it a major electoral reform.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the Bill should be sent to a standing committee.

Rijiju however said the 105th report of parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances and Law and Justice stated that the committee is of view that linking Aadhaar with electoral roll will purify electoral roll.

A brief debate on the Bill was held in which BJP MP Nishikant Dubey alleged that the Congress was opposing the Bill because they wanted to give voting rights to “Bangladeshis”. “After this Bill is passed Congress will not be able to make Bangladeshis or Nepalis (voters in India). All these parties are doing vote bank politics. The other point is that polling booths are in Madarssas and Mosques, the Bill will address that. We appeal Bangladeshis and Videshis are not made voters in India”.

Kalyan Banerjee of Trinamool Congress said entire democracy is being taken away by the Bill.

As Banerjee was speaking, a comment was made from the treasury benches calling him a “Bangladeshi supporter”.

Shiv Sena’s Vinayak Raut also opposed the Bill, and questioned why it was being passed in a hurry.

Supriya Sule of the Nationalist Congress party also asked what is the hurry, and also questioned Nishikant Dubey’s charges, stating, “one of their Ministers is Bangladeshi is the allegation in West Bengal”. She said government should bring a comprehensive Bill on electoral reforms, including reservation for women.

Several other MPs said there should be proper debate on the Bill. Bahujan Samaj Party’s Ritesh Pandey said Bills were being bulldozed in Parliament. Anubhav Mohanty of Biju Janata Dal also said the Bill needs to be properly discussed.

Asaduddin Owaisi said the Bill violates the basic structure of the Constitution.

Rijiju replied to the points raised by the MPs and blamed the Opposition for creating a ruckus in the House, as protests continued demanding suspension of MoS Home Ajay Mishra Teni and other issues.

Amid continuing protests, the Bill was passed through voice vote, and the House was adjourned for the day. (UNI)

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