Rules on linking Aadhaar with the electoral rolls will be issued by the federal government quickly, Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra has mentioned, including that sharing Aadhaar particulars will probably be voluntary for voters, however these not doing so should give “sufficient reasons”. Chandra, who demits workplace on Saturday night, additionally mentioned that the ballot panel performed a key position in intensifying the vaccination drive within the 5 states the place meeting elections concluded in March this 12 months to make sure that voters and people concerned in election obligation had been protected from the coronavirus.
In an interview with PTI, he mentioned two main electoral reforms which occurred in his tenure because the CEC are the supply of 4 dates in a 12 months as a substitute of 1 to enrol these turning 18 as voters and the linking of Aadhaar with electoral rolls to examine duplicate entries within the voters’ checklist.”Earlier, solely January 1 of yearly was the deadline. We satisfied the federal government that this reform may be very important and these individuals ought to be enrolled as quickly as they flip 18. With this reform now, there will probably be 4 dates in a 12 months to get these individuals registered once they full 18 years of age. This reform was pending for the final 20 years,” Chandra mentioned.
The 4 deadlines for enrolment is a part of a Bill handed by Parliament just a few months again to permit linkage of Aadhaar with the electoral rolls. As of now, these turning 18 on or earlier than January 1 will be registered as voters. Those who flip 18 on January 2 or later have to attend for one 12 months to register as a voter. But as soon as the principles are issued, younger individuals can get registered as voters on 4 completely different dates yearly.
“The second biggest reform is the linking of Aadhaar with electoral rolls to check duplicate entries. It will make the voter list pure. It will make the electoral roll more robust,” he mentioned.Asked when the principles will probably be notified by the federal government, Chandra mentioned “I think very soon because we have already sent draft proposals in this regard. We have also sent the forms which are to be changed and they are with the (law) ministry. Very soon, I think they will be cleared. We will also have to tone up our IT system.” On whether or not sharing Aadhaar particulars will probably be voluntary, he replied in optimistic. “It will be voluntary. But sufficient reason will have to be given by voters for not giving their Aadhaar numbers. The reason may include not having an Aadhaar or not having applied for one or any other reason they can think of. I can not think of any other reason,” the CEC mentioned mentioned.
Chandra was of the view that sharing Aadhaar quantity will assist the EC to purify the voter checklist. It can even be sure that the ballot panel is ready to give extra providers to the voters via its communication system, he added.”If we all know in regards to the voter extra clearly, then we can provide extra providers comparable to when the elections will probably be held and sales space (particulars) on their cellphone numbers… We ought to know clearly that he/she is the best particular person,” Chandra mentioned.
Asked in regards to the largest problem he has confronted because the CEC, he mentioned the “toughest” one was to conduct elections in 5 states and numerous bypolls throughout COVID-19. “Because when these elections were coming near, we never thought at that time that Covid will intensify. Suddenly, we came to know about the onset of Omicron. We had to prepare as nobody knew much about this variant.”So abruptly, we needed to gear as much as make the voting course of and the election equipment protected,” he added.
During this era, the EC intensified the vaccination course of and ensured booster (precaution) doses for its polling personnel, together with safety forces.”We needed to take the bizarre step of stopping campaigning in bodily kind. Initially, we mentioned solely door-to-door campaigning with simply 5 individuals will probably be allowed and there will probably be extra emphasis on digital campaigning,” Chandra recalled.
“We had regular meetings with health secretaries and chief secretaries of the states. We asked them to intensify vaccination and we kept a close watch every week. We were giving a very graded response to our campaigning methodology. We opened it gradually. By the time electioneering started, the vaccination rate was very high in all the five states, and the voters had been given the first or the second doses as per protocol,” he added.
Chandra replied in optimistic when requested whether or not it was the EC which had in a method been answerable for intensifying the vaccination drive within the 5 states. “Definitely. In states the place it was particularly much less like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Manipur, we reviewed the scenario and requested the chief sectaries and the well being secretaries to spice up the vaccination drive.
“Each and every person should have taken at least the first dose. If the first dose had been administered, then the second should be given. In Uttar Pradesh, the first dose coverage was 100 per cent. The percentage of vaccination in Punjab and Manipur also went up. We took each and every step possible to check the spread of Omicron during the elections in these states so that the voters and the voting process can be safe,” he mentioned.