EVM tampering: Parties yet to send entries for Election Commission challenge

New Delhi: None of the opposition parties that cried foul about electronic voting machine (EVM) tampering have taken up the Election Commission’s challenge to hack the machines, even as registration for the event closes on Friday.

This includes the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which had made a hacking demonstration in the Delhi assembly.

To be sure, political parties still have a day left (till 5pm on 26 May) to register for the challenge set up by the poll panel last month.

The EC had invited political parties and experts to an open challenge after members of various political parties including AAP, Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had raised questions on the credibility of EVMs after the assembly elections in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand. An all-party delegation also met representatives from the commission earlier this month.

“We have written to the commission regarding the rules of the challenge. We hoped that the commission would hold the challenge with more real-world rules. The party will decide on their participation in the challenge depending on what the commission has to say regarding the rules. We are more than willing to participate,” said a senior leader of AAP on the condiction of anonymity.

In a letter to the commission on Wednesday, AAP had asked the commission to reconsider the terms that they have set for the challenge. The party said tampering of any kind should be allowed, which includes access to the motherboard of the EVM.

The Congress party too is yet to send its entry for the EVM challenge and according to senior party leaders, it is ‘unlikely’ that the party will go ahead with it.

“As of now, no entry by any political party has been received. We will have to check again at the end of the day if there are any entries or not. There is still one day to go; so we will wait and watch,” a senior EC official said, requesting anonymity.

A senior Left party leader said that they will only send an ‘observer’ to witness the demonstration of the EVM and not a challenger.

According to the rules put out by the commission, a political party can nominate three to five challengers and can use two methods to tamper with the machine which include a combination of keys and external wireless. The open challenge is set to be held on 3 June.

PTI contributed to the story.

First Published: Thu, May 25 2017. 05 55 PM IST