Failure to link Aadhaar-voter ID may have serious consequences: Experts warn

04:39 PM Dec 15, 2022 | Newsmeter Network

Hyderabad: Confusion about Aadhaar-voter card linkage persists despite clarifications by authorities that linking of Aadhaar card with voter ID is not compulsory. If the grapevine is to be believed, authorities have issued instructions 'unofficially' for deletion of names from the voters' list of those who have not linked their documents.

During the last few months, about 3 to 3.5 lakh names have been reportedly struck off the voters' list in the Hyderabad Parliamentary constituency alone. Many people, particularly the minorities, are not aware of these new developments and are under the false notion that they possess valid Aadhaar and voter ID cards.

This shocking revelation was made by Abdul Moid, general secretary of Telangana Meeseva Federation. Participating in a discussion on "How to protect your citizenship" organised by the Media Plus Foundation the other day, he said the government has brought about drastic changes in the Aadhaar card enrolment rules. Till 2015 Aadhaar cards were made without submission of any document but after 2015 photocopies of the documents were asked.

Later, in 2016, the authorities insisted on furnishing of scanned copies of the supporting documents and production of the original certificates at the time of enrolment. Recently, the government has issued a gazette notification for updating of supporting documents associated with Aadhaar at least once on completion of 10 years from the date of enrolment. This is to ensure 'continued accuracy' of Aadhaar related information.

"If the Aadhaar card is not updated, all other cards linked with it will get disabled. You will not be able to operate even your bank account. Similarly, PAN card will be invalid if not linked with Aadhaar," said Moid whose Federation has 4,500 Meeseva centres all over Telangana.

While educated people have some document or the other to update their Aadhaar, the illiterate and marginalised sections of society have nothing. "NGOs should come forward to help such persons," Moid explained.

Speakers from different NGOs who addressed the programme wanted special camps to be set up in slum areas to create awareness about the importance of Aadhaar-Voter ID linkage since non-compliance may have serious repercussions. They expressed grave concern about the fast-paced happenings in the country and said negligence in taking corrective steps in time may even put a question mark on one's citizenship also.

Shaikh Mohammed Mustafa Ahmed, founder general secretary, Mujtaba Helping Foundation, Ali Asgar, president, ASEEM, Abdul Qadeer, chairman, Shaheen Group of Educational Institutions took part in the programme. Noted London-based educationist, Dr. Fashiuddin Ali Khan, presided over the session.

The experts urged people to ensure that their Aadhaar cards are updated and are free from mistakes before 30 March 2023. In the event of not doing so, they may not be able to avail the various government schemes and their bank accounts may also become inoperative. There are plans to make Aadhaar a unique card and it will be linked to NRC. Those having difficulty in making Aadhaar cards may take the signature of local MLAs, Group A officers, or college principals on the concerned form.

The Shaheen group chairman offered to hold such a programme in Bidar to create awareness among people there. He said a survey done recently in a Bidhar constituency showed that the names of about 8,000 persons were missing. Dr. Fazil Husain Parvez of Media Plus said his organisation proposed to hold programmes of topical importance to create awareness among people.

According to authorities, the reason behind linking voter IDs with Aadhaar numbers is to streamline electoral rolls and to check the menace of multiple enrolment of the same person in different places. However, the move has drawn flak from civil society organisations that said it violates an individual's right to privacy.