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Election Commission's EVM Challenge is 'On'; AAP, Congress Not up For it

The Election Commisson of India (ECI) on Friday evening announced that the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) challenge was 'on' as scheduled, beginning 10 AM on Saturday.

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Updated:June 2, 2017, 9:52 PM IST
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Election Commission's EVM Challenge is 'On'; AAP, Congress Not up For it
The ECI had thrown open the challenge after the Opposition parties - Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) being the most vociferous of all - questioned the reliability of the EVMs.(Representative image)

New Delhi: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday evening announced that the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) challenge was 'on' as scheduled, beginning 10 AM on Saturday.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and CPI (M) were the only two parties that registered to take up the challenge to hack into the EVMs.

The ECI had thrown open the challenge after the Opposition parties - Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) being the most vociferous of all - questioned the reliability of the EVMs.

BSP Supremo Mayawati was the first leader to have questioned the credibility of the EVMs after receiving a severe drubbing at the hands of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Assembly elections 2017.

Akhilesh Yadav, the erstwhile Uttar Pradesh chief minister, echoed Mayawati's sentiment, saying that if Mayawati had raised some questions, they must be looked into.

The debate was reinvigorated by the AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj after he claimed to have hacked into the machine on the floor of the Delhi Assembly.

The ECI, rubbishing all the assertions made by the AAP MLA, had said that a challenge cannot be conducted on any random machine.

On the last day of nomination, the Congress and the AAP not to take up the challenge, raising issues over the process of the challenge.

The AAP had, however, on Thursday said that it will conduct a parallel EVM challenge of its own, where it will invite people to test the voting machine MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj had used in the Delhi Assembly to ‘prove’ EVM tampering.

The AAP had earlier asked the Election Commission to reconsider the terms of the EVM hackathon, saying it should not set any rules and regulations and allow it to be an open “hackathon”. The party wants the EC to allow participants to try and tinker with the machine’s mother board. The poll panel says that the EVM would lose its “originality” if the internal circuit was tampered with.

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