Tripura announces two-month Aadhaar integration with EPIC to flush out duplicate voters

Announcing the launch of Aadhaar card linking with the Electronic Photo Identity Card (EPIC) of 27 lakh voters in the state from August 1, Tripura Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Kiran Dinkarrao Gitte has said it would help in further cleaning the state’s voters’ list.

Speaking to reporters at the state secretariat Saturday evening, Gitte said four amendments were mandated by the Election Commission of India (ECI), including the use of Aadhaar for electoral registration by linking UIDAI card with EPIC card, allowing multiple qualifying dates, gender-neutral provisions for service and special electors, and the power to acquire premises to conduct polls.

The initiative is going to be undertaken as per the provisions of the Representation of People Act, 1950 and 1951, and would continue for two months starting August 1. Booth Level Officers (BLOs) would visit every household as part of the process to fill up new forms and ask people who have crossed 17 years of age to fill up their details. This would be done to evade unnecessary delay in EPIC registration, owing to which new voters are sometimes unable to cast their very first mandate. However, such individuals would get their EPIC cards only after they are 18 years of age.

Gitte said that since a section of duplicate voters is registered in different places, the integration of Aadhaar would help in flushing them out and stop misuse of voting rights. He added that nearly 99 per cent of Tripura’s voters’ list is clean but many change homes, shift to urban areas, shift due to jobs, leading to duplication. After the Aadhaar card integration, there would be no chance of such duplication, he said.

Before the 2018 Assembly elections, a special summary revision of the state’s electoral rolls was held after the BJP moved the Election Commission, seeking an intensive revision to clean the electoral rolls before the next assembly polls.

On a different note, Gitte also said the Election Commission has now decided to revise the voters’ list four times in a year—January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1. The list would be continuously updated and will be printed once a year in January.

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