Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday claimed the Election Commission has “backed out of the proposed hackathon” to ascertain the reliability of EVMs and said it was a “sad” move.
His remarks comes hours after the Election Commission told an all-party meeting that it would offer them an opportunity to prove that EVMs used in the recent Assembly polls were tampered with.
Chief election commissioner Nasim Zaidi had said a “challenge” is on the cards, going on record for the first time regarding the EC’s proposed move to counter allegations of EVM tampering.
“Although use of VVPAT (voter verifiable paper audit trail system) with EVMs will ensure total credibility and transparency and put to rest all controversy, the Commission will, after today’s meeting, hold a challenge,” he said.
However, Kejriwal – who along with his Aam Aadmi Party, has been the most vocal about EVM tampering – took to Twitter to share his disappointment.
Sad that EC has backed out of hackathon.— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) May 12, 2017
The all-party meeting convened by the EC to discuss the reliability of EVMs, and other electoral reforms, saw a debate over the definition of ‘hacking’.
After the meeting, Kejriwal’s deputy Manish Sisodia sought to know why the poll panel was “scared” of holding a ‘hackathon’ when electronic voting machines cannot be hacked into.
“We had tampered with an EVM in the Delhi Assembly few days back. We request the Election Commission to give us one of the EVMs used in the five state assembly polls and we will also hack into it,” the Deputy Chief Minister told reporters here.
Kejriwal reportedly even questioned the independence of two Election Commissioners AK Joti and OP Rawat.
He had claimed in an interview that the two ECs were close to the BJP governments in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh respectively.
Following the allegations, Rawat had recused himself from the cases related to disqualification of AAP MLAs the commission is hearing.
Apart from Kejriwal, a host of opposition parties including the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have alleged that EVMs were tampered with in the February-March assembly elections in 5 states and the just concluded civic polls in Delhi.
(With inputs from PTI)