The Election Commission of India will conduct Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Drive (ERPAD) by linking electoral rolls with Aadhaar cards (numbers) from March 1 to August 15 this year, Chief Election Commissioner H.S. Brahma stated here on Saturday.
The linking of electoral rolls with Aadhaar would, however, be voluntary and it had nothing do with one’s right of voting, Mr. Brahma said adding that the exercise would largely help find out duplicate or multiple entries of voters in rolls and fake voter cards. “It will also help prevent impersonation during elections as only the right person will be using his/her right of franchise with the purified electoral rolls”, he said addressing a press conference.
The proposed drive would help overcome such problems to a large extent, the CEC said, sating that would be completed in 676 districts across the country by August 15 and North Eastern States and Jammu & Kashmir would be given a couple of months more time. Mr. Brahma stated that there were 84 crore voters in the country and all of them were issued electronic photo identity cards (EPICs), but the number of Aadhaar cards was 74 crore as on February 14.
Asked whether EC would initiate any steps to act against political parties for keeping promises made in their election manifestos, Mr. Brahma said asked: “What can we do? Can we hang them? It’s not possible. However, voters act against such parties on their own every five years”, the CEC said. He, however observed that only 5 pc to 10 pc promises made in the manifestos were implemented by parties.
Ruling out the possibility of online (internet-based) voting in the near future, the CEC said it would require constitutional amendment and 100 pc literacy. On electronic voting machines (EVMs), Mr. Brahma said and about 8-lakh pre-2006 EVMs had to be replaced with new ones to prevent snags during polling as they had become “old.” The EC had recently purchased 20,000 new EVMs, he stated.