Not satisfied with the Election Commission’s “challenge” to tamper EVMs, the AAP remained at loggerheads with the commission and alleged that it had “backed out” from the promised “hackathon”. The party sparred over the “definition” of “hacking” and demanded that the EC should “provide AAP with a machine that the party will try to hack”. The AAP is set to reach out to other parties on the issue to decide the future course of action.
Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, who attended the all-party meeting with the Election Commission, along with Greater Kailash MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj, and adviser to CM, Gopal Mohan, told the gathering that the demand for “hackathon” should not be viewed “negatively”. “This is not to question faith in EC but to help it evolve…” Sisodia said. As the meeting progressed, activist Tehseen Poonawalla, who has been backing the AAP on the EVM tampering allegations, tweeted, “It is not a hacking challenge. I am in the meeting. ECI has again changed goal post.”
Later in the day, Kejriwal tweeted, “Sad that EC has backed out of hackathon”. “Surprising. It was BJP who opposed EVMs till 2014. Now BJP supports EVMs?”
“Why is the Election Commission scared of having a hackathon? If EVMs can’t be tampered, then hackathon will prove it!” tweeted Atishi Marlena, member of the AAP Political Affairs Committee.
Sisodia, meanwhile, put out some demands — the EC should provide AAP with a machine that the party will try to hack. Use VVPAT machine on all booths in all upcoming elections and make a rule for the counting of 25 per cent VVPAT slips in all Assembly. Make arrangements for political funding of all parties 100 per cent transparent. Stop present government from making arrangement for corporate funding via back gate. He says ‘this is dangerous for democracy. In this, anyone giving Rs 2,000 to a party is held accountable but no one know about the one gives crores’.”
Bhardwaj told The Indian Express, “The EC has backtracked on the hackathon and put forward an absolutely wrong definition of a hackathon. They want us to tamper the EVM in in-situ conditions, which will not be a hackathon… This is exactly what the EC had done in 2009. If we are not allowed to open up the EVM then how will it be hacked? They should have made it an opportunity to prove that EVMs cannot be tampered with.”
“The EC also misquoted court judgments and did not even bring up the recent Supreme Court order. We will now reach out to other political parties agitating against the issue and decide on the future course of action,” he added.