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I-card crisis looms large in Asom

Written by: Staff
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Tinsukia, Mar 29: A sizeable amount of Asom's electorate will not be able to vote this time as the Election Commission (EC) has made it clear that no voting would be allowed without voter I-cards.

''Because of the ongoing process of preparation of the National Register of Citizen (NRC), the voter's identity cards could not be issued. But each voter can produce one of the 21 identity papers that the EC has enlisted in lieu of the voters I-card. No voting would be allowed without them,'' said Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) J B Prakash.

The EC's step to stop bogus voting has triggered panic among all the political parties, as about ten per cent of both urban and rural population does not have any of the 21 papers.

''How many of us have PAN, passport, phone or electricity bills or even gun license? This is not acceptable. The EC must relax the rule in case of Asom,'' AGP President Brindabon Goswami lamented.

''Many Assamese villagers do not have any papers. We have asked the EC that at least the certificate given by the village headmen should be accepted as a proof of identity,'' Mr Goswami he added.

However, Mr Parkash said, ''After much deliberation we have put up the list of 21 identity papers. Ration card and papers, electricity bill, phone bill or identity cards provided by the institutions should be enough''.

UNI

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