Voter's Slip & EPIC Card -- Memo to ECI

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


April 13, 2011
Chief Election Commissioner
Election Commission of India
Nirvachan Sadan
New Delhi
Dear Sir,
This is to draw your attention to the Order issued by the Hon’ble Commission No. 3/4/ID/2011/SDR/(WB) dated 8th April 2011. We are hereby appending representations made to you by Shri Biman Basu, Chairman, West Bengal Left Front Committee and Secretary, CPI(M) West Bengal State Committee and Shri Jiban Maitra, Secretary, CPI(M) Malda District Committee. 
The Order, in our opinion, in effect completely nullifies the primacy of EPIC as a document of identification of electors for casting their votes. This Order negates the need for producing EPIC by the elector even if it had been issued to him/her. Therefore, the elector is eligible to vote on the production of any of the 14 alternative documents, including Photo Voter’s Slip issued by the BLOs. 
The level of the BLO, their appointment and their locus standi make them amenable and vulnerable to pressures of political forces at grassroot level. Therefore, to insist that even if EPIC has been issued to an elector, that fact will have no bearing if the elector concerned declares that it is not in his/her possession. In such a situation, the elector will be eligible to cast his/her vote on the strength of any of these other 14 documents authorized by the Commission including the Photo Voters’ Slip. Therefore, this will be a complete reversal of the earlier insistence of using EPIC as a prime document for the purpose of elections. And, given the obvious vulnerabilities of the BLO open to manipulative use. 
In such a situation, we urge the Election Commission to reconsider its decision and insist on production of EPIC by electors to whom the document has been issued. Only those who have not been issued the EPIC by the Commission can avail the use of the alternative documents. We are also urging the Hon’ble Commission to revisit its decision to accord recognition to Photo Voter’s Slip issued by the BLOs which, in our opinion, could be influenced, coerced, manipulated and faked easily. 
With regards,
Yours sincerely
(Sitaram Yechury)
(A. B. Bardhan)
Member of Parliament
General Secretary
Member, Polit Bureau, CPI(M)
Communist Party of India
(Nilotpal Basu)  
(Abani Roy)
Member, Central Secretariat, CPI(M)
Member of Parliament
Secretary, RSP
(S. P. Tiwari)
Member, Central Committee
All India Forward Bloc