The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has termed the Election Commission’s (EC) statement of conducting a “challenge” to prove that Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) can be hacked an “eyewash” and stated that the EC has not announced any details on how the “challenge” will be conducted.
Senior AAP party leader and spokesperson Alka Lamba said that the Election Commission, while interacting with representatives of various political parties on Friday, did not mention any specifics regarding when or where will political parties be allowed to demonstrate that EVMs can be tampered.
“The EC has just given an ambiguous statement, in which it has called for political parties to show that the recently used EVMs were tampered. However, it is very difficult to prove that the EVMs that were used in the recently held elections were tampered. The EC should give us an opportunity to let us change the motherboard or the chip of the EVMs as was demonstrated by Saurabh Bhardwaj (AAP MLA) in the Delhi Assembly earlier this week. There are several ways to hack the EVMs and we should be given an opportunity to show how it can be done. If we fail, we will be more than happy,” Lamba told The Sunday Guardian.
The same statement was reiterated by another AAP leader and former minister Somnath Bharti.
“The EC on Friday did not even tell us about any specifics as to how the political parties will be able to use the EVMs to prove that they can be tampered. Will they give us their own machines? Will we be able to take the machines out of the complex or the EC will just show us a demonstration? These are the questions that remain unanswered,” Bharti told The Sunday Guardian.
The AAP has, however, hailed the decision of the EC to use VVPAT (voter verified paper audit trail) for all further elections.
“It is a victory for us and we see it as a welcome step which is a way towards a healthy democracy,” he stated. Apart from the demand for a “hackathon”, the AAP has also asked that the EC should allow technical experts and students of IITs access to EVM so that they can show how the EVMs can be hacked.
The party has also requested the EC that in the future, at least 25% of the VVPATs’ slip generated in every future election should be allowed to be counted by the political parties so that they can tally it with the actual result.