The drama over rigging of electronic voting machines (EVMs) continued late into the day with Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asking the Election Commission (EC) to give access to the machines and claiming that they could be hacked within 90 seconds. The EC has rejected AAP's claims saying, the machine used by the party to demonstrate rigging, was a 'duplicate gadget.'
While AAP's Saurabh Bharadwaj, who is said to be an engineer, demonstrated how codes could be used to turn votes to favour any particular party, Kejriwal dared the EC to hand over their machines for AAP to demonstrate how they could be hacked as well.
NDTV quoted Kejriwal as saying, "He showed how easy it is to hack EVMs and it is being done on a massive scale. It is dangerous for the democracy and the country, and people should raise their voice against it."
Meanwhile, PTI reported that the EC rejected the claim saying the machine hacked in the Delhi assembly was a "look-alike" gadget and not the actual equipment used by it.
"It is common sense that gadgets other than ECI-EVMs can be programmed to perform in a pre-determined way, but it simply cannot be implied that ECI-EVMs will behave in the same manner because they are technically secured and function under an elaborate administrative and security protocol," PTI quoted the EC statement as saying.
Bharadwaj, had said in the Delhi Assembly, earlier on Tuesday, "There is no machine in the world that can't be rigged. The next election is in Gujarat...give us the EVMs for just three hours...and I challenge that you (BJP) will not win even a single seat."
PTI reported him as saying, "We are not making baseless allegations on EVM manipulation. With this demonstration, it has been proved that EVMs can actually be hacked."
"EVM manipulation is a very serious issue. It is a danger to the democracy of the country. There is no machine in the world which cannot be hacked," he said.
Meanwhile, Kapil Mishra, who has been suspended from AAP, mocked these claims saying, tomorrow AAP will allege that there is something wrong with the fingers of voters:
The BJP too harshly criticised AAP over its "live demonstration" of EVM manipulation calling it "deception" aimed at diverting attention from corruption allegations made against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal by Kapil Mishra.
"The machine used by the AAP to demonstrate that an EVM can be hacked was not really an EVM used by the Election Commission. The party is trying to create deception," said New Delhi BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said, "They are trying to divert attention from the funds issue. But they cannot do so, as they have lied to the Election Commission. Now, they should reply to the questions over funds received by them and other corruption charges on them."
During the special assembly session, the only BJP MLA Vijendra Gupta was marshalled out of the assembly because of creating ruckus. He too alleged that the EVM issue was only to divert attention from the real issue.
"We demand that Satyendra Jain be removed. Even the chief minister is involved in taking money. There are seven cases against him," Gupta had said.
"I wanted to discuss this issue in the assembly, but I was marshalled out. Do you not believe in democracy?" Gupta asked Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
(With inputs from PTI)
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