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Election Commission Challenge: Is this for Real, Asks Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal responded to media reports of the Election Commission’s open challenge to show Electronic Voting Machines can be hacked, questioning their credibility.

Updated:April 13, 2017, 10:20 AM IST
Election Commission Challenge: Is this for Real, Asks Arvind Kejriwal
File image of Arvind Kejriwal. (Image: Getty Images)

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday questioned the ‘credibility’ of media reports on the Election Commission’s open challenge to prove EVM tampering.

“Why are these stories ascribed to 'sources'?" he asked, questioning why the poll panel hadn’t released an official statement on the challenge.

The response came after reports on Wednesday that EC has decided to throw an open challenge to prove that EVMs cannot be tampered with. The exercise will apparently be taken up in the first week of May.

Reacting to Kejriwal’s comment, Union Minister Venkiah Naidu said, “Kejriwal is not able to digest Modi's popular win in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.”

Speaking to CNN-News18, Election Commissioner OP Rawat said: “Since this controversy, we have been preparing to prove the truth but nothing has crystalised yet. Till the election petition period expires on April 26, the EC cannot touch the EVM, so we can’t say anything about May 1 or whatever date is being spoken about.”

“Thirteen parties came and requested an all-party meeting and the EC has agreed. So people are taking bits and pieces of information from that. The commission wants all stakeholders to have belief in the system.… Whatever is coming in the media, is just guesswork.”

Recently, there has been a growing criticism of the EVMs and the call for the return of ballot paper voting has gained momentum. Congress and AAP-led delegations had recently communicated their disapproval of EVMs to the Election Commission.

The opposition raked up the issue once again after a VVPAT machine in Madhya Pradesh dispensed only the BJP slips, no matter what button was pressed.

Kejriwal had recently challenged the EC to hand over an EVM to him and he will prove within 72 hours that these machines weren't fool proof and can be tampered with.

However, it was BSP supremo Mayawati who first alleged the EVMs were tampered with after her party was reduced to a meagre tally of 19 seats in the recently concluded Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

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