Election Commission announced on Friday that it will go ahead with its EVM Hackathon challenge scheduled for Saturday. In a statement to the media today, the poll watchdog said, “EVM challenge is “on” as scheduled. It will start at 10 am, tomorrow. NCP and CPI(M) have nominated 3 representatives each.”
EC’s decision comes shortly after the Uttarakhand High Court rejected a PIL for a stay on it, as reported by NDTV. The plea was filed in view of political parties challenging the Election Commission to a hackathon to provide proof to their claims that the voting machines are rigged to favour a single party. Seeing the BJP’s unprecedented victories across polls in the country, parties such as the NCP and the CPI (M) had planned to participate in the EC’s open hacking challenge while the AAP, who had earlier been at the forefront of the protest against EVMs, pulled out of the challenge alleging unfair rules. Responding to AAP’s allegations, the poll watchdog had clarified last week in a statement it had never made a ‘promise’ or announced anything about a ‘no-holds barred Hackathon’ when it had announced the EVM hacking challenge.
In April this year, at least 16 parties had approached the EC demanding elections be held using ballot papers until their concerns are fully addressed. They told the poll panel that the trust deficit among parties in the electronic devices is “too deep seated and pervasive”.