After the passage of Elections Law Bill, the Centre is planning to hold a meeting with state election commissioners soon to try to persuade them to adopt a common electoral roll for the Parliament, Assembly and local body elections, The Indian Express has reported.
After the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed The Elections Law (Amendment) Bill, 2021 to link electoral roll data with the Aadhaar ecosystem, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice held a scheduled meeting on the ‘Status of Common Electoral Roll for conducting elections in the country’. The committee is headed by BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi.
The Indian Express has further reported that the proposal for common electoral roll was opposed by the opposition members in the committee – TMC’s Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, Congress’s Deepender Hooda and DMK’s P Wilson – who asserted that it was an encroachment into the rights of the states.
Some of the opposition members, it is learnt, argued that the Centre has no powers or authority to tinker with the powers given to the State Election Commission under the Constitution.
A representation of the proposal was given to the committee by Secretary, Legislative Department Reeta Vasishta and representatives of Election Commission. The government is learnt to have informed the committee that it plans to hold a meeting with state election commissioners soon to try and convince them to adopt a common electoral roll.
The issue of common electoral roll had been on the discussion table since 2002 when Justice M N Venkatachaliah headed the National Commission to Review theWorking of the Constitution recommended a common electoral roll for elections to panchayati raj institutions, state assembly and Parliament.