NEW DELHI: The Election Commission has turned down AAP’s demand for allowing change or tampering of EVM motherboard during the ensuing ‘EVM challenge’, saying that changing the motherboard or internal circuitry of the machine was like changing the whole device itself.
“It is the considered view of the Commission that allowing any change of the motherboard or any internal circuit etc of the EVM is like saying that anyone should be permitted to manufacture a new machine and introduce newly made EVMs in ECI system, which is implausible and irrational…any ‘look-alike’ machine is just a different gadget, which is manifestly designed and made to function in a ‘tampered’ manner and has no relevance, incidence or bearing on the Commission’s EVMs,” EC said in a letter sent to AAP on Thursday.
EC was responding to a communication received from AAP on May 24, urging the poll panel to reconsider the terms of theEVM challenge. The party had asked EC to allow the challenge to be an ‘open hackathon’ where tampering of any kind can be demonstrated, while recalling how MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj had shown in the Delhi assembly that tampering of EVM was possible.
“Such a scenario is completely ruled out within our administrative safeguards and stringent security protocols and that’s why it is not proposed in the ensuing EVM challenge,” said the Commission.
While describing the ‘EVM’ hacked by AAP MLA In Delhi assembly as a mere “look-alike” of ECI EVM, the poll panel said the “so-called demonstration on extraneous and duplicate gadgets, which are not owned by the ECI cannot be misused and exploited to mislead or vilify the EVMs used by the Commission”.
EC also reiterated that in case AAP has some data or evidence suggesting that the EVM used in the recently-held assembly polls were tampered to deliver skewed results, it may use the opportunity provided as part of EVM challenge to select EVMs from the said polling stations to verify results and demonstrate the tampering.
Incidentally, AAP, or for that matter any party, is yet to confirm participation in the EVM challenge, scheduled to start June 3.
EC, in its letter sent to AAP on Thursday, also reiterated that the three incidents cited by it to allege tampering of EVMs in Bhind, Dholpur and a BMC poll in Maharashtra were “factually incorrect, misleading and devoid or any truth”