The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday chose the floor of the assembly to demonstrate the hacking of a replica of an electronic voting machine in bid to evade legal consequences, experts say.
Although AAP claimed to have used a prototype of an EVM for the demonstration, which even the Election Commission of India called a “look-alike”, the AAP didn’t want to take any chances.
In 2010, a researcher Hari Prasad was arrested on charges of stealing an EVM. Prasad was part of a three-member team that attempted to prove EVMs could be hacked. The team needed an EVM for testing, but the poll panel declined. The researchers managed to procure a machine after which Prasad was charged with stealing.
“Legislators enjoy certain privileges and immunity inside the assembly and can’t be held liable. Secondly, performing an act in front of the speaker and in the presence of other legislators adds to the credibility,” said Somnath Chatterjee senior Marxist leader and former Lok Sabha speaker.
Asked why the party chose the Assembly for the expose’, AAP leaders said it was to ensure “undivided attention” from the people and the stakeholders involved. “The discussion went on for almost five hours which would not have been possible had we called a press conference. People would not have believed us had we released a video showing the process. The aim was to show it live so people take the issue seriously,” said a senior party leader.
The party planned the event meticulously with its social media wing live-streaming the session on its channels. Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia mentioned this in his speech as he said, “Today, this discussion is being live streamed on different platforms and people across the world are watching it. For the sake, our people today we must question EVMs and the state of our democracy.”