Union Minister Kiren Rijiju introduced the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, in the lower house of the parliament today, saying that the proposed change in the law would end bogus voting and make the electoral process more credible. The bill seeks to link Aadhaar numbers of voters with their electoral cards. But the opposition members opposed the bill.
Linking Aadhaar with voter ID cards will solve the problem of a “huge number of duplicate voters” in the country and “purify” the election database, former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) HS Brahma, who first mooted the idea in 2012, said.
Brahma said he had proposed this step in 2012 as the Election Commissioner, during his 2010-2015 tenure before becoming the Chief Election Commissioner. “This will ensure there are no duplicate Voter ID Cards and will help people when they get transferred to other cities and want to cast their vote there. I don’t think the privacy issue is a such a huge problem that we cannot solve. Precautions can be built in,” Brahma said.
INC leader Rahul Gandhi brought in an adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha for the purpose of discussing the “Statehood and inclusion of Ladakh in Schedule VI of the Constitution of India”. Gandhi wants a committee of stakeholders, including members of Leh Apex Body and the Kargil Democratic alliance, constituted and some action to ensure urgent access to pasture lands in border areas that were previously accessible.
INC MP Manish Tiwari said that the bill tabled by Rijiju was beyond the legislative capabilities while AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi said it violated citizen’s privacy.
As soon as it came in session today, Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 3 PM without transacting any business as Opposition members continued their protests over suspended MPs and other issues. Lok Sabha was adjourned thrice and will resume session at 2:45 PM today.
In the Rajya Sabha, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman will move to further amend and pass the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, as passed by Lok Sabha. Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju will move to introduce the Mediation Bill, 2021.
The union government had yesterday invited leaders of five parties whose MPs had been suspended for a discussion on Monday to resolve the Rajya Sabha stalemate. The INC and other opposition parties, however, said the government was trying to divide the opposition.
The government is likely to introduce a bill during the winter session starting today to amend the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, in the ongoing winter session of the parliament, sources said. The union cabinet has decided to raise the legal age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 years, bringing it at par with that of men, a move that is being hotly debated in the country since the cabinet approved the proposed amendment. Critics say this will push marginalised sections of society to illegal marriages while its enforcement on Muslims, on whom Shari’ah laws apply, is untenable.