- The notifications are part of Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021 passed in Parliament last year
- His move is to make electoral law gender neutral for service voters
- Rijiju described it as a "historic step" of the Modi government to reform the electoral process
Voter-Aadhaar linking: The government has issued four notifications, allowing the linking of electoral roll data with Aadhaar. This move is to make electoral law gender-neutral for service voters and enable young citizens to register as voters four times a year instead of the present one.
The notifications are part of the Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021 passed by Parliament late last year. Law Minister Kiren Rijiju took to Twitter to announce that four notifications in this regard have been issued in consultation with the Election Commission.
The Union minister shared a chart to say that the notifications will enable the "linking of electoral roll data with the Aadhaar ecosystem to curb the menace of multiple enrolments of the same person in different places".
He also said that now a citizen who turns 18 on the January 1 or April 1 or July 1 or October 1 in a calendar year can immediately apply for voter registration.
"The four qualifying dates will considerably enhance the voter base," he said. As of now, January 1 is the only cut off date to register as a voter. Those turning 18 on or before January 1 can register as voters on day one of January.
Those turning 18 after that have to wait for one whole year. On making electoral law gender neutral, he said the word "wife" will be substituted with the word "spouse" making the statutes gender neutral which shall allow the wife or husband of a service voter to avail of the voting facility available.
Soldiers deployed in far-flung areas or members of Indian missions abroad are some of the people considered service voters.
He said the Election Commission can now requisition any premises for storage of poll-related material and accommodation for security forces and polling personnel. Rijiju described it as a "historic step" of the Narendra Modi government to reform the electoral process.