CHENNAI: The Election Commission of India (ECI) held a multi-stakeholder meeting on Monday to sensitize the public on the association of the Voter Photo Identity Card (EPIC) with the Aadhaar card. As the opposition AIADMK faces a series of ongoing court disputes, the ECI has allowed the participation of the two AIADMK factions led by former Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) and the former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam (OPS) to represent AIADMK.
While the EPS faction was represented by former Minister D Jayakumar and former Vice President Pollachi V Jayaraman, the OPS faction was represented by former MP Kovai AK Selvaraj. Before the meeting even started, Selvaraj reached the meeting room of the Secretariat and sat down in the place reserved for the AIADMK. Then Jayakumar and Pollachi Jayaraman reached the hall and sat next to Selvaraj but Jayakumar took the board that said AIADMK and placed it in front of him.
Then, the representatives of all legislative political parties reached the meeting room and the meeting chaired by Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Satyabrata Sahoo began. At the meeting, the opinions of all legislative parties on the idea of linking the voter ID card with the Aadhaar card were obtained and recorded.
ECI has launched the campaign to link EPIC to Aadhaar from Monday in which voters will be provided with Form 6B in which card details will be obtained from voters. Sahoo held a meeting with all collectors in the district on July 6 this year about the campaign and asked them to ensure that the campaign is carried out without facing any bottlenecks. The campaign will run until March next year.
Meanwhile, Jayakumar after the meeting said that AIADMK is in favor of linking EPIC with Aadhaar map to weed out fake voter list entries. Asked about Kovai Selvaraj sitting next to him and representing AIADMK at the meeting, Jayakumar replied that he had no idea who was sitting next to him and added that he and Pollachi Jayaraman were representing AIADMK” original”.
When Kovai Selvaraj was asked about the meeting, he replied that Panneerselvam is the coordinator of AIADMK according to ECI records and he went to represent AIADMK led by Panneerselvam. Asked about Jayakumar’s removal from the AIADMK board, Selvaraj replied that “stupid men do stupid jobs” and added that mature men would not take such things seriously.
However, Sahoo informed the media that the decision on the identity of the original AIADMK will only be taken by ECI officials in Delhi.
DMK opposes EPIC linking with Aadhaar:
Meanwhile, DMK Organizing Secretary RS Barathi said DMK does not support ECI’s plan to link EPIC to Aadhaar. “Purification of the voters list should be done but that does not mean voter ID cards should be linked to Aadhar. The Union Government had already informed that there were five crore fake Aadhar cards in India, which means people will have more than one There are 11 other IDs that are accepted by ECI and they are linked to EPIC,” Barathi said.