Auto linking

Yechury writes to ECI on voter ID-Aadhar link

In an alarming letter to the Election Commission of India, Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) noted concerns over security, privacy and deletions of voters with Aadhaar Voter ID link, that the ECI has decided to restart now.

According to the EC, the linking of voter ID cards with Aadhaar cards is carried out with a view to establishing the identity of voters and authenticating voter registrations.

In the letter, Yechury pointed out that “as part of this exercise, several Chief Electoral Officers across the country obtained voter Aadhaar data from several other databases like NPR, PDS and State Resident Data Hubs (SRDH) These polling stations linked Aadhaar with voter IDs of 31 million voters without notifying individual voters and instead using algorithms to automatically link them based on already existing data.”

“This process has led to voter suppression across the country and particularly in Telangana State, where Aadhaar’s NERP-AP exercise with voter ID was initially developed,” he said. declared.

With all of this previous election malfeasance regarding Aadhaar, Yechury found the lack of consultation with political parties prior to the start of this process concerning.

He said: “India currently has no data protection or privacy law and the Election Commission of India also has no privacy policy in regards to maintenance of voter Aadhaar data. The stated purpose of linking with Aadhaar voter identification is primarily to remove duplicate voters, but with the concerns of duplicate Aadhaar raised by the CAG in its UIDAI report, this is a hasty exercise. “

“It is the duty of the Election Commission of India to investigate these serious failings in voter suppressions and data breaches that have occurred. The Election Commission of India is mandated to protect the rights “Until the election commission produces a report investigating these incidents, and comes out with clear checks and balances, this liaison exercise must be kept on hold,” Yechury said.

The Electoral Laws (Amendment) Bill, allowing Aadhaar to be linked to voter ID cards, was passed by the Lok Sabha by voice vote in December 2021.

Yechury demanded that ECI delete all Aadhaar data collected prior to changes to the Representation of the People Act in 2021 allowing for this linking procedure.

“In the absence of a data protection law, we oppose any potential sharing of any Aadhaar-related voter ID cards to be shared with the Home Office, whether in the purpose of creating the NATGRID database, the National Population Registry, the National Citizens Registry and all new and upcoming databases of birth and death records. We oppose the use of such collected data only for electoral purposes to be used for other purposes and demand a limitation of the purpose of this data,” Yechury said.