'Pure bakwaas': Ravi Shankar Prasad blasts London EVM hackathon event, calls it a Congress drama

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 22 January 2019, 04:33 PM
“The entire event was organised to insult the 2014’s popular mandate,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. (File photo)
“The entire event was organised to insult the 2014’s popular mandate,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. (File photo)
HIGHLIGHTS
    • After shocking claims, Election Commission had rejected the 'rigging' idea. 
    • In a statement, the poll panel called the hackathon a 'motivated slugfest'.
    • Unprecedented event also marked attendance of Congress leader Kapil Sibal.

Day after sensational claims made by a London-based hacker regarding the electronic voting machines during elections across India, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad launched a scathing attack against the hackathon event. Prasad called it a ‘pure bakwas.’ He also alleged that the event was nothing but a drama helmed by the Congress. “The entire event was organised to insult the 2014’s popular mandate,” Prasad said while addressing media in New Delhi on Tuesday. Targeting senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal, Prasad asked, “what was Mr Kapil Sibal doing there? In what capacity was he present there? I believe he was monitoring the situation on behalf of Congress party.”

Prasad said that the EVM hackathon event was an alibi presented by the Congress before loss in coming Lok Sabha elections. On Monday, Syed Shuja, a cyber expert had claimed that the Lok Sabha Elections 2014 in India were rigged. Shuja is a part of the team, which designed Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) used in India. Addressing a press conference via video conference, Shuja made several explosive allegations regarding EVM tampering during 2014 Lok Sabha Elections and several state Assembly polls including that of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and others. The unprecedented event also marked the attendance of Congress leader Kapil Sibal.

After the shocking claims, the Election Commission had asserted that it firmly stands by "empirical facts about foolproof nature" of its machines and said it is examining as to what legal action "can and should" be taken in the matter.

In a statement, the poll panel said whereas it is "wary of becoming a party to this motivated slugfest", it firmly stands by the "empirical facts about foolproof nature of ECI EVMs" used in elections in India. "It is being separately examined as to what legal action can and should be taken in the matter," the EC statement said without elaborating against whom the action was being contemplated -- the person or the organiser of the event.

The Commission reiterated that the EVMs used by it are manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) under "very strict" supervisory and security conditions. It said there are rigorous standard operating procedures "meticulously observed" at all stages under the supervision of a committee of eminent technical experts constituted in 2010.  

First Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2019 12:52 PM
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