RAJ KUMAR, Ranchi, Telegraph

Aadhaar cards will not be considered as an identity proof during the civic polls.

At least, the list of 14 documents, which can be treated as alternative identity proof in the absence of voter identity card issued by the Election Commission of India, says so.

Deputy commissioner Vinay Kumar Choubey confirmed that the list, issued by the poll panel, gives the Aadhaar cards, issued by the Nandan Nilekani-headed Unique Identification Authority of India a miss.

However, he suggested that the state election commission would be able to shed more light on the matter.

When contacted, state election commissioner S.D. Sharma said: “The list has been issued in accordance with the guidelines of the Election Commission of India and the state election commission has no role in it.”

A presiding officer deputed in one of the 3,785 polling booths spread across the state said: “The handbook given to us during a training yesterday mentioned the 14 documents that can be treated as alternative identity proof. The Aadhaar card is not one of them.”

However, Aadhaar card’s omission from the identity proof list has not gone down well with the voters.

“It is really unfortunate that Aadhaar card, which is even used for opening bank accounts and other purposes, will not be accepted as ID proof during the civic body elections. This is against the basic concept of the ambitious scheme that aimed to give identity to even those citizen of the country who do not have any identity proof,” said retired Air Vice Marshal of Indian Air Force Yash Kumar.

A criminal lawyer, Arwind Kumar Lal, agreed. “When Aadhaar number is being used by the government to transfer subsidy and other financial aid directly into beneficiaries’ bank accounts, it is wrong not to use it as identity proof in elections,” he said.

Aadhaar is a 12-digit number for every citizen that serves as proof of identity and address anywhere in the country. It can be accessed online in real time to authenticate beneficiaries and can be adopted by various user agencies.