Business

‘EC should direct parties to give Aadhaar numbers of members’

Written by PaperDabba

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has asked the Election Commission (EC) to direct political parties to provide the Aadhaar numbers of their members so that the claims on membership match reality.

The BSP’s treasurer and former Rajya Sabha member Ambeth Rajan has said in a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat that certain political parties are misusing public funds in the name of bogus members.

Rajan’s target, apparently, is the BJP. “The BJP is claiming that it has lakhs of members in a State like Tamil Nadu. In a recent visit to the State, its president Amit Shah also reiterated this claim. But the reality is different,” the veteran BSP leader told BusinessLine.

The Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP had claimed in 2015 that it had more than 45 lakh members in the State. The BJP had won 1,228,692 votes in the 2016 Assembly elections in the State, but did not win any seat. In 2014, the BJP-led NDA had won two seats and had gained 7,523,829 votes.

“Aadhaar card must be linked to the voting process, too, so that bogus voting can be prevented. The Election Commission must come forward to implement this,” Rajan added.

In his letter to the CEC, he said conversion of black money is also taking place in the name of bogus members.

“Every time such questions relating to bogus members are raised by political parties, your good office starts investigations into the claim by investing huge sums of money on a case-by-case basis. This causes further losses to the tax-paying citizens,” Rajan said in the letter.

False propaganda

To curb the menace of bogus members, political parties must give their Aadhaar numbers to the poll panel, he added. Such a step can prevent misuse of public money, he observed.

“Also, it can prevent false propaganda by any political party”, he said, since they cannot manipulate voters by showing false numbers.

Rajan further said he had sent such the letter in his personal capacity.

“To ensure justice, liberty, equality and fraternity as enshrined in the Constitution of this Republic, the Election Commission must prevent misuse of public money by certain parties using fake data on membership,” he added.

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