India is set to become the first country in the world to have biometric data and no duplicity in the voters’ list after linking of Aadhaar card with voter identity card, Chief Election Commissioner H S Brahma said on Saturday.
“When we are able to seed the Aadhaar figure (number) on EPIC card that will ensure that there is not a single duplicate number. We will do it definitely by 2015 and then India will be the only country in the world where there will be complete biometric of voters. There will be not a single fraud or duplicate voters,” Brahma said at a conference on electoral reforms here in Kolkata.
Asked about Supreme Court’s order which had said that Aadhaar is not a prerequisite for availing public services, he said everyday lakhs of voters are seeding their names with Aadhaar card on their own.
“Everyday our voters are themselves seeding (their names for Aadhaar cards). More than lakhs daily. We do not want to make it compulsory but our voters themselves want it. It is a good gesture,” the CEC said.
He appealed to all citizens of the country to avoid duplicate names in the voter list saying it is a crime punishable for up to one year.
Brahma said once the Aadhaar number is mentioned in the electoral rolls then individual voters can also change their address online because Aadhaar will be the basic identity.
It will remove all allegations of duplicity in the voters list and harassment to voters in changing their address, he said adding that so far 85 crore Indians have got their Aadhaar numbers.
“We are very hopeful that the remaining 25-30 crore people’s Aadhaar cards would be done by August this year,” he said adding that in West Bengal the Aadhaar figure is around 55 per cent so far.
On electoral reforms, he said political reforms should also be talked about in the same spirit.
He said if the government accepts the report of the Law Commission then 95 per cent of problems on issues of electoral reforms will be resolved.
Asked about expenditure ceiling for political party candidates, he said they need to be vigilant as money and muscle power doesn’t lead to level playing field.
“Filing of nominations should also be online so that people can know the plus and minus of the candidates,” Brahma added.