Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - INDIAUNSEEN -

There are an es­ti­mated 15 crore de­no­ti­fied tribes ac­cord­ing to the 2018 Idate Com­mis­sion Re­port. De­no­ti­fied tribes have been sur­veyed in all 36 states and union ter­ri­to­ries for the first time. Com­pris­ing 12 per cent of In­dia’s pop­u­la­tion, they have never been in­cluded in a cen­sus since 1931, and there is no of­fi­cial es­ti­mate of how many have been able to pro­cure voter id cards.

The Elec­tion Com­mis­sion of In­dia is the only of­fi­cial body that has been work­ing and mod­i­fy­ing its rules to ac­com­mo­date those with­out iden­tity cards and per­ma­nent ad­dresses to en­able uni­ver­sal and in­clu­sive fran­chise.

Frag­men­ta­tion of the tribes is seen as the rea­son for their not be­ing a vote bank with the abil­ity to swing the vote.

Ma­ha­rash­tra and Gu­jarat are the only two states in In­dia where the ECI of­fi­cials make spe­cial ef­forts to in­clude de­no­ti­fied tribes in elec­toral rolls.

The right to vote is not a fun­da­men­tal right, and de­no­ti­fied tribes have no mode of re­dress cur­rently.

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