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EC delaying EVM hackathon under political pressure, claims AAP’s Sanjay Singh

Hours before the election commission is scheduled to hold a demonstration on the working of paper trail enabled voting machines, AAP leader Sanjay Singh claimed that the EC was delaying announcing the hackathon dates. He also claimed that the poll panel was listening to only one party.

delhi Updated: May 20, 2017 14:15 IST
Sweta Goswami
Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,EVM row,AAP crisis
At a press conference on Saturday, AAP leaders Sanjay Singh, Ashutosh and Gopal Rai accused the ECI of not announcing the date for a “hackathon”.(Raj K Raj / HT Photo)

Firing a fresh salvo at the Election Commission of India, the Aam Aadmi Party on Saturday accused the poll panel of acting under political pressure.

The criticism came hours before the ECI was scheduled to hold a demonstration on the working of electronic voting machines (EVMs). The poll panel is also expected to announce dates for an EVM hacking challenge in the wake of concerns raised by some opposition parties about the reliability of the machines.

At a press conference on Saturday, the AAP accused the ECI of not announcing the date for a “hackathon”. “On whose pressure is the ECI delaying its own promise to conduct an EVM hackathon?” asked senior party leader Sanjay Singh.

“Will the ECI only listen to one party which is the BJP? There are 18 parties and several other parties that have raised the EVM issue, but ECI is listening to only one party,” he said.

He demanded that the ECI should conduct the EVM tampering challenge in an on-camera setting so that everybody could witness the process.

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

According to an Election Commission announcement, the demonstration of the functioning of the EVMs and VVPATs on Saturday will be followed by a press conference.

The poll panel had announced after an all-party meeting on May 12 that it will hold the challenge to let opposition political parties prove their contention that the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) used in the February-March assembly elections were, or could be, tampered with.

Representatives of the Aam Aadmi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Congress and Trinamool Congress had raised concerns over EVMs at the all-party meeting.

First Published: May 20, 2017 13:51 IST