The issuance of a tender to create and maintain a 'Makkal (people's) identity' for the residents of the state has caused a massive debate.
While the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) said that the Makkal ID was necessary to connect an individual's records across multiple databases maintained by the state, the Tamil Nadu unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) asked why couldn't the same be done with Aadhaar.
They said that the government was wasting taxpayers money by making a parallel identification system.
Political commentator Sumanth Raman said that the Makkal ID might create confusion and lead people to doubt whether the Aadhaar is sufficient or not.
He further said that the state government already has the data of all families of the state due to the ration cards issued under the Public Distribution System (PDS).
To the DMK spokersperson Salem Dharanidharan's argument on a television debate, that the Makkal ID would be useful to plug leakages in the delivery of welfare schemes, state vice president of the BJP, Narayanan Thirupathy said that Aadhaar was already doing the same.
Thirupathy added that the DMK is probably bringing an alternate system because the Aadhaar is not allowing it to do corruption.
According to a report in The News Minute, the Makkal ID is not similar to Aadhaar ID as there would be no physical card and no survey or data collection would be carried out for this purpose.
It would be a backend number that would help the government to avoid duplication of identities of beneficiaries due to reasons like spelling mistakes.
Critics said that the DMK's stand on plugging leakages and its actions reek of double standards. They asked if the DMK believed that the Aadhaar is not sufficient to plug leakages, why are they currently going on an overdrive to link the electricity connections with Aadhaar instead of waiting for the Makkal ID.
Others asked why was the government distributing the Pongal gift in cash instead of depositing the money into bank accounts, as the cash based system has higher chance of money being diverted to the wrong people.
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