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EC will create a platform for Aadhaar-Voter ID linkage: Senior Election Commission official

Voter Id, Aadhaar
Credit: Aditi Agrawal

On February 18, senior officials of the Election Commission of India (EC) discussed the possibility of linking electoral photo identity card (EPIC) with Aadhaar with the Legislative Department of Ministry of Law and Justice. The Election Commission had written to the Law Ministry on August 13, 2019, recommending the same. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sunshil Chandra met Secretary of the Department Narayan Raju and Additional Secretary Rita Vashishth. Other officials were also present at the meeting. The Election Commission had begun linking Aadhaar and voter IDs in March 2015 under its National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme (NERPAP). On the basis of the interim order passed by the Supreme Court in the Aadhaar case in August 2015, the EC suspended all activities, including publicity, related to collection of Aadhaar data, from citizens and government agencies. Since then, the Aadhaar Act has been amended so that to make Aadhaar mandatory to avail certain services, a law stating that will have to be passed by the Parliament. MediaNama spoke to a senior official at the EC, who was present at the meeting, to understand the reasons for such linkage, and how citizens' privacy will be ensured despite it. Please note that the quotes have been lightly edited for clarity. MediaNama: How will Aadhaar-EPIC linkage help? Senior EC Official: "There's a two-fold purpose to it: first is related to any kind of duplicity [duplication] to be avoided in electoral roll because people move from one…

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