EVM challenge: EC awaits entrants; Congress, AAP, BSP keep mum as deadline looms

25 May 2017, 05:02 PM
A file photo of an electronic voting machine.
A file photo of an electronic voting machine.

As the May 26 deadline for Election Commission's EVM hack challenge looms, none of the recognised political parties has approached the poll watchdog to confirm their participation. 

According to a report published in Hindustan Times, the commission had given the parties till May 26  to confirm their attendance. The EVM challenge is scheduled for June 3 after parties including the Congress, AAP, Trinamool Congress, and BSP said that the machines can be tampered with to sway votes. 

“We have not taken a call on whether to participate yet,” the report quoted Vivek Tankha, the head of All India Congress Committee’s legal cell, as saying.

The Election Commission had invited all the seven national and 49 state parties to participate in the challenge to prove that its EVMs can be tampered with. 

Read | EVM hackathon: Election Commission writes to CEOs of 5 states to provide machines

Earlier, the commission had said that it would invite all the national and state recognised parties which had contested the recent assembly polls.

The poll panel had also sent letters to all the seven national parties -- the BJP, the BSP, the Congress, the CPI, the CPI-M, the NCP and the TMC -- and 49 state parties, including the AAP. 

The BSP and the AAP were the first to question the reliability of the EVMs. 

The BSP, along with several other parties, had urged the commission to revert to the paper ballot system saying the faith of the people has eroded in the machines. 

The Aam Aadmi Party had also asked the Election Commission to reconsider the terms set for next week's EVM challenge. The party wants the EC to allow it to be an open 'hackathon' where tampering of any kind can be demonstrated.

As the AIADMK now has two factions recognised by the poll panel, both have been invited for the challenge. But the commission has kept out smaller registered but unrecognised parties and independent candidates who contested polls in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur. 

Each party will get four EVMs of their choice from the five states and four hours to hack. Each team can have a maximum of three persons. But foreign experts have been barred from participating. The challenge begins on June 3.

(With inputs from PTI)

Read | Election Commission dares parties to tamper with EVM: Here are the rules of 'EVM Challenge'

First Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 03:26 PM
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