Most of the political leaders who were invited by the Aam Aadmi Party to witness the ‘EVM-tampering’ demonstration at the Delhi assembly on Tuesday eventually came out ‘convinced’.
“Even though it was a replica of the electronic voting machine and not an original one, I am 200% convinced even original EVMs could be rigged in the same manner. It gave me goose bumps,” said Manoj K Jha, leader of RJD who attended the demonstration.
In a special assembly session, MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj demonstrated how to hack the replica of an EVM. To garner support, AAP had invited Trinamool Congress (TMC), Janata Dal(U), Samajwadi Party and CPI (M) members to be present at the Speaker’s gallery.
Senior MPs and leaders, including TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, Congress’s Tehseen Poonawalla, RJD’s Manoj Jha and CPM’s Nilotpal Basu attended the session.
A senior opposition leader after coming out of the session said: “The ECI’s credibility is at its lowest. No machine in the world – from phone to EVM – could be tamper-proof.”
The poll panel has convened an all-party meeting on May 12 to discuss the concerns about the reliability of EVMs. The ECI has also come out with an “open challenge” to anybody to hack its EVMs.
“I would tell whatever I have seen today in that meeting,” said CPI(M).
Asked if AAP’s ’hacking’ was convincing, another opposition leader said: “We are not experts. But apparently the process looked convincing and I think the original ones could be rigged in the same way.”
Sukhendu Sekhar of TMC said: “I was asked by the party to attend the demonstration. I will brief the party leaders on what I have seen.”
The Election Commission, however, dismissed the EVM-hacking claims made by AAP, saying it was not the same thing since a look-alike machine, and not a real EVM, was used.