Now, Aadhaar to merge with EPIC

Published on May 15, 2015 03:31:31 AM
EC to introduce new ID card incorporating all details of Aadhaar

Concerned over the lackluster response to the Aadhaar Card seeding with Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC) Campaign in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the Election Commission of India is planning to introduce a newly designed EPIC paving the way for phasing out existing voter ID cards.

The newly designed EPIC would incorporate all details of the Aadhaar card and help nearly 6.5 crore people in AP and TS to avail of several statutory benefits. "We are planning to issue a single card that has details of both EPIC and Aadhaar. This card will help people avail of several statutory benefits.

Most importantly, the card can be used as address proof and ID proof by people. A detailed proposal to introduce these cards had been sent to the ECI for approval,” Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Telangana and AP Bhanwar Lal told Metro India.

The Commission has also decided to issue these new cards free of cost to all the existing voters to make it a crowd pulling factor across the two states. As per existing rules, the Commission issues EPICs to only fresh voters by spending around Rs 20 on each card.

The CEO said that the proposed cards would cost them much less than the existing ones. "The cost being borne by the Commission will be very less compare to the issuance of individual cards. We are inviting open tenders to give bulk contract to issue these new cards to all the voters,” he said.          

According to official statistics, the Commission had already seeded the Aadhaar card details of 4.5 crore existing and fresh voters out of the total 6.5 crore voters, accounting for 69 per cent of electorate.

The plans of ECI to seed all the existing EPICs could not fructify as many voters perceived the move as optional, following judgments of various courts including Supreme Court of India.

The ECI itself had on several occasions clarified that seeding of Aadhaar card details was optional and not mandatory for voters.