Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday once again trained his guns at Election Commission after it threw an "open challenge" to people to try hack its EVMs.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday once again trained his guns at Election Commission after it threw an “open challenge” to people to try hack its EVMs. He also sought an official communication from the poll-body on the issue. “Why are these stories ascribed to “sources”? How credible are they? Why hasn’t EC issued any formal statement? Or is it just a plant?” Kejriwal tweeted this morning. Deputy Manish Sisodia also cast aspersion over the EC’s move.
“Has the Election Commission issued a press release or an official statement? Is an attempt being made to plant such news before the MCD polls? We demand an official statement from the Election Commission on this,” AAP leader Ashish Khetan said yesterday.
Come try hack our EVMs and show they can be tampered with, the Election Commission had said yesterday, inviting political parties and experts to the “open challenge”. While the Commission is yet to decide on the exact date, it said the challenge would be held in the first week of May and could continue for ten days.
The last time such an event had taken place was in 2009 when 100 machines from different parts of the country were kept at Vigyan Bhawan. No one, EC claimed, could hack the electronic voting machines. When CM Arvind Kejriwal had met Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi with a complaint on EVMs last week, he was told that the poll panel is planning such an event.
This time, the venue could be Nirvachan Sadan, the EC headquarters. The specifics would be decided by the Commission’s technical expert committee on EVMs and the details would be made public in the next couple of days. There is a strong possibility that EVMs used in the Uttar Pradesh polls could also be brought in for the challenge. BSP had alleged that tampered machines helped BJP win the polls.
As per rules, the machines cannot be taken out of the strong room for 40 days — a period within which an aggrieved person can file an election petition before the high court concerned. That period will end later this month. “From first week of May, experts, scientists, technocrats can come for a week or 10 days and try to hack the machines,” an official source said. They said the challenge will be open for a week or 10 days.
Notably, major opposition parties had raised their concern with President Pranab Mukherjee over the issue of alleged EVM tampering, especially in recently-concluded elections, noting that it raises bonafide concerns on possibility of manipulating electoral outcomes.
Leaders of prominent opposition parties including the Congress, the Left parties, TMC, SP, BSP, JD-U and the RJD were part of the delegation.