BJP, CPI(M) slam Lt Gov's decision of carrying ID cards

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New Delhi, Jan 5 (UNI) A day after he made it mandatory for the capital's residents to carry identity cards from January 15, Delhi Lt Governor Tejinder Khanna today found himself at the centre of a fusillade of criticism with both the BJP and CPI(M) decrying the decision.

Terming ''impractical'' Lt Governor Khanna's proposal, the BJP urged the Centre to issue handy multipurpose IT enabled national identity cards for all citizens in the country.

BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said it was good that the Lt Governor had realised the importance of identity cards in the wake of heightened security scenario in the country.

However, the move was impractical as over 50 per cent people did not have identity cards and he could not expect them to have them in a fortnight. Also, many states did not issue ration cards with photographs, he added.

''If the Centre issues IT enabled identity cards creating a national registry of citizens, than the all the people can carry these cards like their mobile telephones,'' he said.

However, the Delhi Lt Governor had generated a healthy debate on an important aspect of national security, he said.

Meanwhile, the state CPI(M) also demanded the immediate withdrawal of the ''draconian'' provision contending that the people of Delhi, especially the poor, daily face harassment and extortion by the police and the order ''further empowers them to continue on this path with impunity.'' ''Lakhs of Delhi's residents do not have any identification papers. This is especially true of the city's poor and those working in the unorganised sector. Similarly, there are lakhs who have no ration or voter ID cards,'' a statement from the party's state unit said, claiming that the Lt Governor's 'diktat' would be used to ''bolster the ongoing process of eviction of the poor'' from the national capital.

It further slammed the Lt Gov's plea that this step would prevent ingress of terrorists as laughable, noting mere possession of identity proof would not prevent occurence of terrorist attacks.

Reiterating its strong opposition to the ''draconian order'' and demanding its immediate withdrawal, the party also appealed to the capital's residents to oppose the move and ensure its withdrawal.

The Lt Governor, in a press conference yesterday, had announced that from January 15, all those residing or working in Delhi would be subjected to random checking wherein they would required to produce to the police officers proof of their identity- be it their driving licence, their PAN card, their passport, their ration card or their office ID card.

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