Election Commission calls all-party meeting to clear air on EVMs

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The party will approach the commission on Friday seeking access to electronic voting machines (EVMs) that were used in the recently held assembly polls.

During the day-long special sitting of the House, AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj put on a "live demonstration" on how electronic voting machines can be programmed to favour any political party.

The Election Commission on Friday assured all political parties that EVMs were secured and could not be tampered with.

CEC also informed the political representatives that the Commission will hold a challenge and offer opportunity to political parties to demonstrate that EVMs used in the recently concluded Assemblies elections were tampered OR that EVMs can be tampered even under the laid down Technical & Administrative Safeguards.

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Saurabh Bhardwaj during the demonstration on EVM tampering.

In its communication to the presidents of all the seven national and 48 state political parties, the poll panel sent a status paper on EVMs and VVPAT. This could also be the forum where the poll panel announces the date of the EVM hackathon - the event where it says people will be thrown an open challenge to hack EVMs.

The Commission has convened the all-party meeting to discuss issues related to EVMs and Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT). Such so called demonstration on extraneous and duplicate gadgets which are not owned by the ECI can not be exploited to influence our Intelligent Citizens & Electorate to assail or vilify the EVMs used by the Commission in its electoral process. The EC officials said they have received funds for VVPAT.

Chief election commissioner Nasim Zaidi had said a "challenge" is on the cards, going on record for the first time regarding the EC's proposed move to counter allegations of EVM tampering.

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Using his own replica of EVM, Bhardwaj presented a model of tampering which could only be applied in the Polling booth during the actual poll.

AAP leader and the CM of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal has also made allegations on BJP by saying that they had won the Delhi MCD Election by EVM hacking. Questions were raised in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab etc, so we want to appeal to the ECI that they give us their machine and we will show them by hacking it. "Just let us inside the government store room with the EVMs in Gujarat and we will hack them if you wish", Bhardwaj said in Delhi Assembly on Tuesday. "We are not in favor of EVM that is what we are asking the introduction of ballot papers", Roy said.

From all India Trinamool Congress's perspective, Mukul Roy demanded reintroduction of paper ballot system.

"It is a fact that the EVMs can be hacked".

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