Pradyut Bordoloi
Pradyut Bordoloi addressing a press conference in Guwahati on Sunday. Image - UB photos

Assam Congress leader and Nagaon MP Pradyot Bordoloi served a notice to the secretary general of Lok Sabha opposing the introduction of the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

In his letter to the secretary general of the Lok Sabha, Bordoloi said the proposal to insert a sub-section in the law providing for the linking of voter identification with Aadhaar unique identification is “in violation of the Supreme Court judgment”.

He said the Supreme Court judment “limited the use of Aadhaar authentication to welfare programmes and for linkage with PAN numbers for purposes of income tax”.

“The sacrosanct right to vote cannot be put at risk by linking databases on the pretext of verifying identity, especially in light of concerns around Aadhaar data breaches and discrepancies in the Aadhar database,” Bordoloi mentioned.

Also read: Centre introduces Bill to link Voter ID, Aadhaar cards amid protests

Such a proposal would aid voter profiling and targeting by political parties, inevitably posing a threat to voter rights and the guarantee of a secret ballot, the cornerstone of “free and fair elections”, the Congress leader from Assam said.

By enabling voter profiling and linkage of data sets, especially in the absence of a data protection law, such a legislation would be in violation of the right to privacy and can result in mass disenfranchisement, he claimed.

“This has been seen in previous attempts to clean up databases of other government registries, like MGNREGA and PDS,” the letter reads.

Also read: Assam: Raha MLA Sashi Kanta Das to join BJP?

He said “this legislation is unconstitutional” and it “undermines our electoral democracy and voters’ trust in our electoral system”.

He demanded that the amendment bill “must be immediately withdrawn to protect what remains of democracy in India”.

Meanwhile, despite objections from the opposition parties, the Centre on Monday introduced the Election Laws (Amendment Bill) 2021 to link voter ID and Aadhaar cards.

Union law minister Rijiju rejected the statements from the Opposition MPs that the Bill would violate the fundamental rights of the citizens.

Rijiju while introducing the Bill clarified that Amendment has been brought to the law only to stop bogus and fraudulent voting.

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