Hours after an Indian cyber expert claimed that EVMs were hacked in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, which saw the BJP win by a landslide margin, the Election Commission on Monday maintained that the machines were foolproof and that is was “wary of becoming a party to this motivated slugfest”.
The election watchdog also said it was mulling legal action in response to the claims made by a person identified as Syed Suja at a press conference in London.
“It has come to our notice that an event claiming to demonstrate EVMs used by ECI can be tampered with, has been organised in London. ECI has been wary of becoming a party to this motivated slugfest & stands by empirical facts about the foolproof nature of ECI EVMs,” quoted the EC.
“EVMs are manufactured in Bharat Electronics Ltd. & Electronics Corporation of India Ltd. under very strict supervisory&security conditions. There are rigorous Standard Operating Procedures observed under the supervision of a Committee of technical experts constituted in 2010,” the commission said.
Syed Suja, the Indian cyber expert who is seeking political asylum in the US, claimed that the 2014 general election was “rigged” through the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), which, he claims, can be hacked.
Addressing a press conference in London via Skype, Suja said he fled India in 2014 because he felt threatened in the country after the killing of some of his team members. However, his claims could not be verified.
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.
Our great democracy must be protected. Every vote of yours is precious. All Oppn parties discussed the #EVM issue after the #UnitedIndiaAtBrigade rally. We are working closely together and decided on Jan 19 itself to consistently take up the matter with EC. Yes,every vote counts
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) January 21, 2019
“Our great democracy must be protected. Every vote of yours is precious. All Opposition parties discussed the EVM issue after the United India rally. We are working closely together and decided on January 19 itself to consistently take up the matter with EC. Yes, every vote counts,” she tweeted.
Describing Suja’s allegations as a “hacking horror show organised” by the Congress, BJP leader and Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the Grand Old Party had begun looking for an excuse for its likely defeat in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. He also pointed out that Sibal’s presence at the press conference was not a coincidence.