AAP claims poll panel acting under political pressure

The EVM hacking challenge should be held in an on-camera setting for transparency’s sake, the AAP said on Saturday.

New Delhi: Hours before the Election Commission held a demonstration in the national capital to claim that the electronic voting machines are reliable, the Aam Aadmi Party accused the poll panel of acting under political pressure. The EVM hacking challenge should be held in an on-camera setting for transparency’s sake, the AAP said on Saturday.

Later, the party also objected to some of the terms and conditions announced by the EC for the EVM hacking challenge and demanded “full freedom” to open the machine and test its reliability.

Earlier in May, the Delhi Assembly had held a daylong special session in which the ruling AAP sought to demonstrate how easy it was to rig the EVM. “All it takes is 90 seconds,” AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj had said while demonstrating how EVMs can be manipulated.

Senior Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh said the EC riders for the hackathon were “absurd”. “It is akin to asking someone to swim with his hands and legs tied,” he said. “Does the EC believe that people who want to rig elections are going to follow any of their rules and regulations if they want to hack EVMs?” he added.

The Aam Aadmi Party  claimed that it has shown that EVMs can be tampered by changing the motherboard. Mr Singh said a party delegation will meet officials of the poll watchdog to have more clarity on the proposed event on June 3.

Before the EC announced that it will invite political parties for the hackathon, Mr Singh addressed a party news conference and said: “On whose pressure is the EC delaying its own promise to conduct an EVM hackathon?”

The poll panel’s invitation for hackathon come in the wake of concerns raised by some Opposition parties about the reliability of the machines.

The party also said that the EC should consider conducting elections through the paper ballot system. “All foreign countries like America, Germany, Japan and Britain have gone back to ballot paper,” Mr Singh said.

The challenge to prove that EVMs are not tamper-proof will start from June 3 in which political parties can use machines which were deployed in the recently held assembly elections. The challenge will only be open to national and state parties which contested the recently concluded assembly polls in Punjab, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Manipur.

The political parties will not be allowed to change the motherboard of EVMs and take the machines home to prove at a later date that they can be manipulated.