On the day the Aadhaar Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha providing a big boost to PM Narendra Modi and FM Arun Jaitley, the opposition members, including from the BJD tore into its provisions, insisting that there is apprehension that it can be used for all kinds of nefarious purposes by the government. Here are the top 10 points raised by MPs about the Aadhar Bill:
.1.Aadhaar Bill: Participating in the discussion, Tathagat Satpathy (BJD) said there are fears that a government of the day may use the provisions of the bill for ‘mass surveillance’ and ‘ethnic cleansing’. When a BJP member countered him saying there are no different races in the country, Satpathy said there are at least four groups in the country and Indians can be divided on these lines.
2.Satpathy claimed that the United Nations had recently ‘misutilised’ biometric data of refugees coming from Iraq and Syria to help certain countries keep a tab on them. “More dangerous is collection of biological data,” he said opposing the Aadhaar Bill. He said be it the UPA or the NDA, the mindset remains the same
3. With a variety of cards like the voters identity card, why should the taxpayer bear the cost of “such unproductive” things, Satpathy asked. Questioning the need to present the measure as a money bill, he said “It is not a money bill, full stop” and alleged that procedures were subverted to bypass the scrutiny of the Rajya Sabha. Satpathy said since the term ‘national security’ has not been defined, the provisions of the Aadhaar Bill can be used to “arm-twist political parties
- Initiating the discussion, Rajeev Satav (Cong) said that by going in for the measure, the ruling dispensation has shown that it was a ‘U-turn government’. He said Narendra Modi during Lok Sabha elections and former BJP chief Rajnath Singh had attacked the Aadhaar scheme, while then party spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi had said BJP would seek a CBI probe into various aspects of Aadhaar.
Accusing Narendra Modi of playing petty politics on the issue earlier, he said the then Gujarat Chief Minister while criticising the scheme on one hand, had ensured 60 per cent implementation in his state. Satav also expressed concern over lack of definition of the concept of national security in the measure and left it to the discretion of the government.
6.Supporting the bill, Arvind Sawant (Shiv Sena) too expressed concern over certain clauses and sought more clarity on the confidentiality clause. He also questioned a provision which says that if an official does something in good faith which later creates problem, he cannot be taken to court. He said officials have time and again misused power.
8.: According to Jitendra Choudhury of CPI(M), the Aadhaar Bill has both positive and negatives. So it requires thorough discussion. It should be referred to the standing committee so that various aspects are looked into.
9.Although there are significant flaws and risks embedded in the Aadhaar Bill, it needs to be passed in larger interest as it will help check fraud, said Konda Vishweshwar Reddy of TRS, but warned that if the data is stolen, it will also help criminals to indulge in fraud.