Ahead of EVM hacking challenge, EC meets 55 parties today

Posted May 15, 2017

The BJP formed governments in four of the states.

"So far there have been 37 cases in various courts regarding EVM tampering".

The poll panel of the Commission invited representatives of seven national parties and 48 state-level parties for the meeting at the Constitution Club in New Delhi on Friday.

He said that party legislator Saurabh Bharadwaj on Tuesday demonstrated in the Delhi Assembly that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) can be hacked just by "changing the motherboard".

"Reacting to the demonstration, the poll panel said the machine used to conduct live demonstration was a "look-alike" which was made to function in a 'tampered" manner. Zaidi also said the Commission has "no favourites" and it was equidistant from all parties.

Last month, 16 Opposition parties had urged the EC to revert to paper ballots.

The AAP fared poorly in the polls, which were largely won by the Bharatiya Janata Party. These opposition parties had also conveyed their concerns on the EVMs to President Pranab Mukherjee.

The BSP and AAP had alleged that the machines used in the recent assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa and Punjab were tampered with and favoured the BJP.

The AAP has now requested the Commission to either hand them the machines used in the elections to demonstrate how they could have been hacked, or trail the votes to see if they were cast in favour of the party they were intended for. All it takes is 90 seconds. "The way controversies are cropping in connection with EVM tampering, this needs due attention", said Desai.

This was announced by the Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi at an all-party meet held here on Friday.

He said EVMs do not enjoy their trust any more.

Bharadwaj also condemned the enquiry report of the Election Commission, saying that it had no basis.

The VVPAT-equipped EVMs dispense a paper slip which helps voters confirm that their vote has indeed gone to the candidate of their choice. "At least if we switch back to ballot paper there will be no apprehensions left", it added.

"Such so called demonstration on extraneous and duplicate gadgets which are not owned by the ECI can not be exploited to influence our intelligent citizens and electorate to assail or vilify the EVMs used by the Commission in its electoral process", it added. EVMs can be easily hacked by small engineers.

From all India Trinamool Congress's perspective, Mukul Roy demanded reintroduction of paper ballot system.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Vandana Chouhan told ANI that if the elections become transparent though VVPAT, then the party will agree with it.