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AAP seeks clarity on EC’s EVM challenge, says poll panel imposing conditions

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) criticized the Election Commission for imposing “terms and conditions” on its EVMs tampering challenge.

india Updated: May 20, 2017 23:25 IST
ECI,Election Commission,EVMs
Aam Admi Party Leader Sanjay Singh, Gopal Rai along with Ashutosh during the press conference in New Delhi, May 20, 2017.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

Even as the Election Commission of India on Saturday challenged political parties to hack its EVMs June 3 onwards, the Aam Aaadmi Party (AAP) said they are not satisfied.

The party criticized the poll panel for imposing “terms and conditions” on its EVMs tampering challenge. Party leader Atishi Marlena said that there was no point of a hackathon if the EC does not allow them to open the machines.

“They (EC) said that the motherboard of EVMs cannot be changed. So, let the EC allow us to bring our tools to change it. If still we are unable to reconfigure the machine then we will accept defeat,” Marlena said.

“But will the EC allow us to open the machines?”

AAP leader Sanjay Singh said that the party will send a delegation which in the next two days would meet the EC and understand their Dos and Don’ts for hacking the machines. “There is no clarity in the EC’s challenge of hacking EVMs. It is putting so many conditions. It wants us to cross the sea with our hands and legs tied,” he said.

The party also demanded that upcoming elections be fought on paper ballots, hours before the EC’s press conference. “All foreign countries like America, Japan, Germany and Britain have gone back to ballot paper,” said Singh.

However, the election watchdog refused the proposal on Saturday.

Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said majority of the political parties which participated in the all-party meeting in New Delhi on May 12 had supported use of EVMs with paper trail machines.

Singh had also alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party is the only party that has been quiet on the EVM issue. “Between 2009 and 2014, BJP had fought against EC’s EVMs. Not that it’s on a winning streak, it is mum, while 18 parties and several others are saying that EVMs are not tamper proof,” Singh said.

The party has been demanding the EC to use EVMs equipped with voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) in all future elections and to tally the votes and slips of 25% of randomly chosen booths.

First Published: May 20, 2017 23:24 IST