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AAP hacks EVM prototype, EC says machine not ours

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal intervened to ask him to “clarify (to the House) that the code is candidate-specific and not for a party”.

Written by Sweta Dutta | New Delhi | Updated: May 10, 2017 8:15 am
Aam Aadmi Party, AAP, EVM tampering, arvind kejriwal, delhi assembly, saurabh bhardwaj, india news, indian express AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj gives a ‘live demonstration’

BACKING ITS allegation on the “tampering” of electronic voting machines (EVMs), the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) held a “live demonstration” to show the “hacking” of an EVM prototype during a special session of the Delhi Assembly on Tuesday. With representatives from regional parties like RJD, CPI(M), Trinamool Congress and technocrats as witnesses in the visitors’ gallery, Greater Kailash MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj, who has a B.Tech degree, performed the “live demonstration”. After a few opening remarks by AAP MLAs on the vulnerability of EVMs, Bhardwaj brought out an EVM prototype comprising a ballot unit and control unit. He then demonstrated two rounds of “fair” voting and displayed the “results” on the control unit.

“On polling day, after a few rounds of fair voting, a BJP volunteer comes in as a voter. After voting for a candidate, during the long beep, he stealthily enters a code. Thereafter, all votes, irrespective of which party is being voted for, go to the BJP,” claimed Bhardwaj. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal intervened to ask him to “clarify (to the House) that the code is candidate-specific and not for a party”. Bhardwaj then announced a code for the BJP on the prototype. After that, eight “votes” were cast in favour of AAP, but the control unit showed that all the votes went to the BJP.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said after days of “watching videos on YouTube” and “contemplation”, the party realised that EVMs were being tampered with. “We really wanted to be proved wrong on this… But over time, we were increasingly convinced that there is something wrong. This is not a TV studio demo, but something displayed with a lot of responsibility on the floor of the House,” he said.

“We are not questioning the IAS, IPS or paramilitary forces who guard the EVMs, but the engineers who go in to service these machines… Saurabh has shown how the tampering takes place within 80 seconds,” he said. “Questions are being raised about why we did not complain when we won 67 seats in Delhi. Yes, we did not complain then, nor did we raise questions about the 272 seats won by BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, or the Maharashtra and Jharkhand assembly polls. But when a candidate in the BMC polls pointed out that he did not get a single vote despite voting for himself, it made us think.”

Dismissing the tampering charge, BJP MLA from Rajouri Garden, Manjinder Singh Sirsa, said: “The topic of discussion today should have been very different. You should have analysed the reasons behind your losses. It is because of your false promises that you lost… You had promised to install 15 lakh CCTV cameras. Where are those cameras? Not even three schools have been constructed.”

Among those in the visitors’ gallery were Nilotpal Basu (CPI-M), Sukhendu Shekhar Roy (TMC), Manoj Jha (RJD), technocrat V V Rao, who had alleged tampering in 2009, and activist Tehseen Poonawala. Rao, Poonawala, and a team of IIT graduates who are also AAP volunteers worked on assembling the EVM prototype over the last three months, said party leaders. Bhardwaj and Kejriwal, an IIT alumnus, were part of the team too.

Speaking to The Indian Express later, Bhardwaj said: “I know of at least two dozen ways of tampering with these EVMs. Once the machines are hacked, a secret code is sent to the targeted EVMs after the mock drill in the presence of polling agents… There must be hundreds of BJP volunteers involved in this… Word does not come out because there is a huge amount of money exchanging hands… While the AAP will introspect on our shortcomings, the tampering of EVMs is also an undeniable truth. Losing the MCD polls is an insignificant thing when our democracy is facing such a threat.”

The AAP, by a voice vote, adopted a resolution appealing to President Pranab Mukherjee and the Election Commission on the use of EVMs equipped with Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines. The resolution said the VVPAT slips should be tallied in at least 25 per cent of polling booths, which should be randomly selected. The party also urged citizens to remain “ever-vigilant to protect our much cherished democracy”.

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  1. p
    May 14, 2017 at 12:50 am
    evms with vvpat are to used as per supreme court order.however SC is reported to have observed that any technology can be tampered with,but sufficient grounds are to be available to raise doubts.ECI is reported to have declared that vvpats will be used in the future elections and certain percentage of vvpat slips will be counted.it is desirable to have all the vvpat slips to be checked and tallied with evms and voters list to have free,fair,transparent elections and to have voter's faith in the system ALL CONCERNED MAY PLEASE THINK AND ACT
    1. R
      May 11, 2017 at 12:11 am
      AAPtards used Delhi embly to discuss sahara files, the flimsy names attached by some disgrunteled employee in some papers as evidence rejected by SC, but they dont discuss major corruption allegation made against their own CM by own seniormost cabinet minister, a co-founder of AAP! Instead they want the drama of EVM enacted to deflect attention, when EC has clarified and challenged all political parties for open in tion and checking/hacking official secure EVMs. Looks like AAPtards think common man I mean real 'aam admi' are fools to fall for this nauntaki. If kejirwal and gang has an iota of honesty/morality left they should dissolve Delhi embly and go for elections as MCD results are akin to recall of all elected MLAs when the same voters are involved in both cases and AAP made it as referendum. Also, AAP manipulation of EVMs as proved by Bhrawdwaj giving 67/70 is more suspect than ever before!
      1. Shivaji Chaudhry
        May 10, 2017 at 11:06 pm
        Well if you presume anything could be hacked please hack black money ders accounts and return them to Indians. You be ured that you would not have to bicquer over EVMs, janta sab dekh legi.
        1. Hafeez Mohommed
          May 10, 2017 at 12:36 pm
          Aap couldnt hack atm machine, so they got dummy atm machine and withdrew from there own account to show how it can be hacked, since they know the trick and they got 67 out of 70 something ia fishy
          1. Damodar Biswal
            May 10, 2017 at 12:35 pm
            Desperate AAP is trying to save Kejriwal.Will it succeed?Chances r bleak.
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