Parliament passes electoral reforms bill, Oppn stages walkout

New Delhi: The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, was approved by Rajya Sabha via voice vote on Tuesday, December 21, despite the Opposition's walkout. The Bill seeks to link electoral rolls with the Aadhaar ecosystem in order to eliminate voter duplication and fake votes. On Monday, the Lok Sabha approved it.

The opposition parties were demanding a vote tally because they had moved a motion to refer the Bill to a select committee, which was defeated by voice vote. Members of opposition parties such as the Congress, TMC, Left parties, DMK, and NCP walked out of the House in protest.

The Bill was approved by Rajya Sabha after members of the BJP, JD(U), YSRCP, AIADMK, BJD, and TMC-M supported it, claiming that it will aid in the removal of duplicate and fraudulent votes from electoral rolls.   Opposition members continued their protests in both Houses on Tuesday. Before adjourning for the day, the Lok Sabha referred the Prohibition of Child Marriage Amendment Bill, introduced in the Lower House by Union Minister Smriti Irani.

Rakesh Sinha, a BJP nominee, supported the Appropriation Bill. He said, "Previously, welfare schemes were restricted to announcements and papers. PM Modi and the government have made it their moral and constitutional duty to ensure that welfare schemes reach villages after 2022."

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