Mamata Banerjee Questions Sudden Aadhaar Card Deactivation Ahead of Elections

The Asian Age.  | Rajib Chowdhuri

India, Politics

The TMC supremo announced that her government would provide alternative cards to those affected by the action

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. (Image: PTI)

KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday questioned the motive behind ‘deactivation’ of Aadhaar Cards in the state ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Calling the sudden move ‘shocking’, the TMC supremo announced that her government would provide alternative cards to those affected by the action. The Chief Minister on Monday launched an online portal to enable affected people to record their grievances from Tuesday.

Meanwhile, swinging into damage control mode, the BJP blamed the UIDAI Ranchi office for the deactivation and assured a reversal in 24 hours.

In the letter to Modi, Banerjee complained that the Aadhaar Card deactivation was “indiscriminate” that affected “the people, especially those belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Class communities.”

She wrote, “I would like to know from you about the causes for such sudden action of deactivation…without assigning reasons. Is it just for the sake of depriving the eligible beneficiaries of the benefit or to create a panic situation among the people at large just before the ensuing Lok Sabha Elections?”

The Chief Minister said, “I am really shocked to see such an action of deactivation of Aadhaar Cards in the state against the interest of SC, ST, OBC and the poor section of the society.”

She alleged that the UIDAI head office in New Delhi, without any field enquiry or hearing the people and taking the state government into confidence, has been directly issuing letters informing people about deactivation of cards under provisions of the Regulation of 28A of Aadhaar (Enrolment and Update) Regulations, 2016.

She added, “I have received a number of representations including those from Tapasili Federation. The present development has created chaos and hue and cry among the residents of the State, as a large number of people are approaching the district administration for redressal of their grievances. Every citizen in the State is in a state of fear on this matter.”

Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari posted on X, “I convey my regards and gratitudes to Union home minister @AmitShah Ji and minister of electronics and information technology @AshwiniVaishnaw Ji for reversing the deactivation of the Aadhaar Cards by the UIDAI Ranchi Regional Office. I had spoken to both of them and also had sent a letter to Ashwini Vaishnaw Ji in this regard.”

He added, “They have assured me that all the deactivated Cards will be reactivated wit in 24 hours. It seems that the Higher Level Officials and the ministry were completely unaware of such step taken by the Regional Office at Ranchi. An investigation is likely to be conducted to unearth the truth and to ascertain whether any conspiracy was hatched before the polls.”