Published: Tue, January 22, 2019
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Election Commission spurns invitation to see how Indian EVMs are hacked

Election Commission spurns invitation to see how Indian EVMs are hacked

The Congress on Sunday said that because Lok Sabha elections are on the horizon, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has started panicking and therefore is criticising the formation of the four-member committee for EVMs.

The world's most populous democracy - India - is scheduled to hold a general election in April-May next in which an estimated 900 million people will be eligible to vote.

He also claimed that BJP leader Gopinath Munde was murdered because he was about to out the party on EVM hacking.

But Shuja, who addressed journalists in London via video conference, and hid his face behind a cloth in a dimly lit room, failed to deliver what he had set out to show - a demonstration of how EVMs could be tampered with.

The event in London was organised by the Indian Journalist Association of Europe in alliance with the Foreign Press Association of London.

Soon after the press conference in London, which was attended by Congress leader Kapil Sibal, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the Opposition would take up the matter with the Election Commission.

India's Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora earlier this month said that the EVMs were tamper-proof and an expert committee was looking after their functioning.

The BJP rubbished Shuja's claims. The Congress said it had nothing to do with the press conference but sought a probe into Shuja's allegations. "ECI has been wary of becoming a party to this motivated slugfest & stands by empirical facts about the foolproof nature of ECI EVMs", ANI quoted the EC as saying.

The election watchdog also said it was mulling legal action in response to the claims.

The ECI reiterated that the EVMs used by it are manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited and the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), both state-owned, under "very strict" supervisory and security conditions.

Shuja claimed he was an employee of Hyderabad-headquartered Electronic Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL) between 2009 and 2014. He alleged that those responsible for bringing EVMs to his location in the United States for the hacking demonstration had been paid off and so he could not show how EVMs could be hacked.

He said he sought political asylum in the U.S. after he was attacked in India in May 2014.

According to Shuja, who said he also went by other names, 200 seats in the 2014 elections that would have been won by the Congress had been rigged in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party by manipulating data transmission through what he called "military-grade modulators" installed in various parts of the country.

Munde died in a road accident in New Delhi weeks after the BJP won the 2014 elections in May.

He added that not just BJP, the SP, BSP, AAP and Congress too were involved in incidents of EVM rigging. Shuja claimed to be in touch with the team and said that it found success in the recent elections in Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan where the BJP suffered. Reports say that he will also tell when and where EVMs in India have been tampered with.

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