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NCP, CPI (M) Only Parties to Participate in Election Commission's EVM Challenge

On the last day of filing the nomination to participate in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) hackathon, eight political parties submitted their response to the Election Commission of India.

Subhajit Sengupta | News18.comSubhajitSG

Updated:May 26, 2017, 9:38 PM IST
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NCP, CPI (M) Only Parties to Participate in Election Commission's EVM Challenge
Representative image (Image: Getty Images)

New Delhi: On the last day of filing nominations to participate in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) hackathon, eight political parties submitted their response to the Election Commission of India.

Sharad Pawar-led National Conference Party (NCP) and CPI (M) were the only ones to have shown interest in taking up the ECI's challenge to prove that the machines can be tampered with. The Aam Aadmi Party, arguably the most vociferous critic of the EVM, refused to participate in the event under the existing framework of the challenge.

On the other hand, CPI, BJP and RLD expressed their interest in observing the challenge. The Congress Party, along with the AAP, raised some issues and decided not to take a part in the challenge.

The Chief Election Commissioner of India Nasim Zaidi had thrown open a challenge to all the technocrats and political parties to prove that EVMs used in the electoral process can be tampered with. The challenge from the ECI came days after Aam Aadmi Party MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj claimed to have hacked into the machine on the floor of the Delhi Assembly.

But the tussle between AAP and Election Commission continues. ECI has refused to allow any change of motherboard which is the biggest security feature in the EVM. AAP is rigid on being given full freedom to change the motherboard during hackathon.

The party has said it will not participate in the hackathon unless ECI gives them the full freedom to operate. Thus, it has written a fresh letter to the commission stating that they would participate in a 'real' hackathon only.

The commission had on May 20 announced that it would conduct the hackathon from June 3 where technocrats and representatives of political parties would be invited to try and hack into its EVM. The seven recognised national and 49 state parties had time until 5pm on Friday to apply.

The questions on the reliability of the EVMs were first raised by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Supremo Mayawati after the BJP won a massive mandate in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.

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